​New tech needed to aid expansion

New tech needed to aid expansion


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PRICE RISE: Rick Gladigau.

PRICE RISE: Rick Gladigau.

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GIVING SA's primary producers access to genetically-modified pasture varieties would be a game-changer for the dairy industry, dairyfarmer Rick Gladigau says.

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GIVING SA's primary producers access to genetically-modified pasture varieties would be a game-changer for the dairy industry, dairyfarmer Rick Gladigau says. 

With the cost of feed supplies and freight rising, Mr Gladigau said if he had access to GM ryegrass he would be able to lower his production costs because he could grow and conserve more fodder. 

"It is not just a cost of $300 a tonne for feed that has an impact, it is the freight cost of $40/t too - it all adds up," he said.

"A lot of my levy money has been put into GM ryegrass technology research and we still do not have access to it. 

"If I can get more dry matter out of the same area then I am going to grow more feed - if I grow more feed I will get more milk out of the cows." 

Mr Gladigau believed the dairy industry relied on new technology.

"We have a large technology uptake and allowing GM crops to be grown in SA would be a pretty simple but game-changing move for dairyfarmers," he said.  

"If the cost of production was lowered and cows produced more milk because of the higher dry matter content I would expect dairy farms would expand because the state does not produce enough milk."

Mr Gladigau also believed farmers should have "a fair say, if not the final say" on whether GM crops should be grown in SA.

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