GM grass for dairy cows needs commercial partner, consumer acceptance

Some Victorian dairy farmers want the opportunity to grow genetically modified ryegrass.

However they concede community acceptance of GM is important, before they can proceed.

Victorian Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre estimates that GM rye grass crops could add an up to $300 per hectare in value for dairy farmers, from increased milk production.

Jindivick dairy farmer Ken Lawrence, from west Gippsland, said consumers and producers were not on the same page when it comes to genetically modified products.

“Its seems to be getting the consumers to accept that milk and meat produced from GM feeds is the same old meat and milk,” he said.

Victorian Dairy Futures CRC’s research project into GM rye grass has finished. But the research does not have a commercial partner willing to take the rye grass forward.

Paula Fitzgerald managed the research into rye grass crops and said it is up to business to decide whether to take advantage of the product from here.

“So that commercial partner at one level obviously bulks up seed and markets but it also would be involved in helping put together all the data needed for the regulator,” she said.

Read full, original article: Dairy farmers are waiting for a commercial backer for genetically modified rye grass pasture to boost milk production

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