Clover Hill Dairies: Balancing productivity and treading lightly in the centre of a rural residential development and a rainforest


  • Lynne and Michael Strong



Clover Hill Dairies is a progressive and highly intensive dairy farm, which currently milks 200 cows on 50 hectares three times a day on steep rainforest hinterland country. Milk production (305 day) currently averages 13 000 litres and 850 kg of milk solids per cow making Clover Hill Dairies one of the highest production dairy farms in Australia. The stud Holstein herd is fed a predominately pasture based diet with supplementary feeding comprising 35-40% of the dietary intake. Clover Hill Dairies aims to optimise the genetic potential of our high end genetic merit herd through close attention to pasture and soil management, biodiversity and the environment. Combining this with the application of the latest scientific principals and technology skills, we produce over 50 000 litres per hectare from the 200 cows. We recognise agriculture is no longer just about farming; it is intrinsically tied in with managing the environment and minimising the impact of human endeavours, hence the ongoing need to balance productivity and progress with minimal environmental footprint. Clover Hill Dairies strives to adopt a holistic decision making process to ensure higher quality of life, financial stability including managing and reducing debt, consistent profitability, and the confidence of knowing that our decisions are improving the environment and the community we live in. The key factors are herd genetics; best practice herd and farm management; the management and operational team; and interaction with the environment and the community.