Home > Artisan dairy product factory controls supply chain down to Jersey cow feed

Artisan dairy product factory controls supply chain down to Jersey cow feed

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article image Nic Dibden in his corn crop, which was cut for silage and used in the dairy ration
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A dairy farm operation on south coast NSW is focussed on controlling the whole dairy value chain to maintain the quality of their high-end, artisanal dairy products.

The dairy farm at Tilba Tilba operated by husband and wife team Nic and Erica Dibden, milks 200 Jersey cows for their ABC Cheese Factory located in nearby Central Tilba. A Cobargo Jersey farmer also supplies the factory.

The couple insist on having input into everything down the supply chain, from the feed grown for the herd, to packaging and selling the end product. The Dibdens’ involvement begins with getting the nutrition right for their herd.

Mr Dibden said they have been supplementing their herd’s ration with corn silage; on the advice of local silage contractor and grower Ben Underhill, they planted 14 hectares of PAC 624 hybrid corn last season for this purpose. This particular hybrid corn variety was selected for outperforming all other varieties for the past few years.

Mr Dibden said their first year with the variety was a very dry and hot mid-summer period, severely affecting the overall performance of the crop, but they did see late rain, which helped make some crop out of a very ordinary situation. They managed to get 600 tonnes from the 14 hectares despite all the hiccups.

Good quality Jersey milk is key to the Dibdens’ speciality cheeses, which include cheddars, Camembert, Brie, Swiss, blue, Havarti and Romano. They also produce and bottle their own milk, ABC Tilba Real Milk.

Mr Underhill, who introduced the cheese makers to the PAC 624, first saw the corn variety from the cabin of his chopper in the Bodalla district, describing it as a very impressive looking hybrid with good stover coupled with a big girthy cob and good levels of staygreen, in addition to putting tonnes in the pit.

He added that most of the growers he works with are now either growing all PAC 624 or on at least a portion of their corn area.

Pacific Seeds is committed to bringing the best plant genetics and seed technology to Australia’s farming community.

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