THREE Western Dairy scientists who co-authored a research paper have had it approved for international publication.
The three, Ruairi McDonnell, Martin Staines and Richard Morris, work at Western Dairy's industry research, development and extension hub established last year at Bunbury.
They co-authored the paper on a flexible feeding systems study with Department of Agriculture and Food researcher Bronwyn Edmunds.
The publication is being seen as a great achievement for WA industry-led science and a feather in the cap for the Western Dairy RD&E hub.
The hub was created in response to the downsizing of DAFWA and the potential disbursement of its dairy expertise and capability.
Most of the RD&E hub staff and contractors previously worked for DAFWA.
The move by Western Dairy to engage dairy research staff was unchartered territory and is the only one of the eight regional development programs across Australia adopting this approach so far.
Western Dairy's agribusiness team leader Kirk Reynolds, who heads up the hub, said acceptance of the article in the international journal Animal Production Science, was an enormous credit to the team and something for WA dairy farmers to be proud of.
"The team's paper is the culmination of three years' work on the Flexible Feeding Systems partner farm study that involved an intensive 15-months monitoring the management and performance of 13 WA dairy farms," Mr Reynolds said.
"Getting that work to the next step to have it peer-reviewed by the international dairy science community and then accepted for publication, is not something we see often out of the dairy science sector in WA.
"Our approach to our dairy research is to make sure the activities are well grounded and addressing issues that have the opportunity to create production gains for our farmers - but for the professional development of our science team it is also incredibly important they be given the time necessary to develop the research."
The paper describes key supplementary feeding management practices relevant to WA farms and takes an in-depth look at supplementary concentrate use on partner farms.
It includes a comparison of in-parlour versus partial-mixed ration concentrate provision. The results suggest management decisions have a greater impact on profitability than the type of concentrate feeding system used.