MODERN FARMER: Monto dairy farmer Geoff Downie won the Reef Rescue Award.
MODERN FARMER: Monto dairy farmer Geoff Downie won the Reef Rescue Award.

Award win a bright spot for dairy producer

A MONTO dairy farmer has been recognised for his creative and environmentally friendly innovations to improve farming technology.

Geoff Downie won the Reef Rescue Dairy Award through the Australian Government's Caring for Our Country funding scheme.

He received two water quality grants from the Reef Rescue program and attended several soil and nutrient management workshops. The workshops provided him with the knowledge and tools to maximise nutrient use and efficiency, which helped reduce input costs. Mr Downie said he was thrilled to receive the award for the effort he had put in.

"It's great to be given recognition by this award - it feels good to know that farmers are being appreciated for improving farming technology," he said. "The new infrastructure has improved our bottom line."

He improved the quality of water leaving his property by purchasing and converting a trailered planter to minimum till and by constructing a new creek crossing on Three Moon Creek to replace the original, which was damaged in the 2010-11 floods. Following the conversion, the risk of nutrients and sediment entering the catchment was greatly reduced. The crossing held up to the higher floods earlier this year and provided better animal health.

Mastitis and hoof problems were reduced because the cattle could keep dry and free from bruising because they no longer needed to swim across flooded areas to be milked. Other results included increased milk production, reduced veterinary and medicine bills and reduced erosion.



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