GM ryegrass for cows that could boost milk production 15% faces opposition in Australia

Daily farmers in Victoria Australia are debating the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) ryegrass as peak representative group, United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV), seeks to formulate their policy on adopting new GM pastures.

A high energy ryegrass with greater sugar content, which would allow cows to produce more milk, is being developed by the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre and Dairy Australia and is getting close to commercial trial stage.

Modelling suggests the genetically modified high energy ryegrass could increase milk production by 10 to 15 percent per hectare, but some dairy farmers have expressed concern about development of the GM ryegrass, with organic farmers claiming the risk of cross-contamination with non-GM pastures is high and could destroy organic farming businesses, which maintain a zero tolerance to genetically modified organisms.

UDV president Adam Jenkins said his group had been hosting forums across the state to bring farmers up to date on the latest research developments and to gauge their opinions on GM ryegrass.

Read full, original article: Dairy farmers open debate on genetically modified ryegrass

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