New initiative helps dairy industry feed itself

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The provincial government announced today a three-year, $12-million land development initiative to assist the dairy industry to become self-sufficient in the local production of forage.
This will ultimately lower the cost of importing forage and improving dairy producers' bottom lines.
"On-farm forage production will enable farmers to make their operations more competitive and the production of industrial milk profitable," Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale said.
"The dairy industry currently imports approximately 22,000 metric tonnes of forage at a cost of more than $4.4 million each year. We want to be able to produce more of that forage within the province, lowering the transportation and fuel costs for farmers."
The provincial government is investing $6 million over the next three years under the Agriculture and Agrifoods Development Fund to assist dairy farmers to develop larger acreages of land for increased forage production. This funding will be matched by individual dairy farmers for a total expenditure of $12 million on land developments projects.
The initiative will ensure long-term job security for existing farm employees and will create approximately 360 seasonal jobs as the land is developed.
The announcement was made this morning during the annual general meeting of the Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Crop input and equipment suppliers will also see an increase in employment and sales during the land development process and into the future as a result of increased forage production and harvesting activities. Forage comprises approximately 40 per cent of a dairy cow's daily feed.

Organizations: Agriculture and Agrifoods Development Fund

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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