Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

In the limelight: John Piltz

John PiltzPosition:  Livestock Research Officer


NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Career Brief

John Piltz joined NSW DPI in 1985 as a technical officer working in ruminant nutrition and forage conservation. In 1993 he gained a Master of Rural Science from the University of New England for his thesis titled ‘Digestibility of Australian Maize Silages’. Prior to his current appointment, from 2003 to 2005, he was National Coordinator of the ‘TopFodder Silage’ program.

Research and Teaching Activities and Interests

Research activities

Feed evaluation research including evaluation of new legume species and cereal based forage crops, and new feed testing methods; the role for conserved forage to improve livestock production and whole farm productivity with special emphasis on the mixed farming zone; and the use of forage conservation, especially silage, to control weeds.

Teaching activities

Recently supervised Ms Wang Li and Ms Xiangba Zhouga during their postgraduate (Masters) studies at Charles Sturt University. Currently co-supervisor of
Charles Sturt PhD student Mr Shoaib Tufail.

Professional Links

Member, and previous chairman, of the Australian Fodder Industry Association’s Quality Evaluation Committee.

A typical day for me includes…

Watering the plants in my office while the computer boots up, checking (deleting) emails, checking field sites/harvesting, working at the animal house with most time spent working on and writing up data.

My main project at the moment is …

An Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) supported project ‘Integrated crop and dairy systems in Tibet Autonomous Region, China’ which includes a substantial research component at Wagga Wagga. This includes field trials to evaluate cereal and cereal/vetch forage crops for hay and silage production, an animal house experiment investigating the feed quality of cereal silages produced from barley and oats, and determining the response to lucerne silage in steers fed barley straw ad lib.  A complementary study, supported by AgriFutures Australia is evaluating triticale/pea forage crops for hay and silage.

My favourite part of my job is …

Talking with other staff over morning or afternoon tea.

When I am not in the office I like …

Getting out to the paddock to look around at sheep, cattle, pastures and forage crops.

When I am driving I like to listen to …

ABC radio, music from the 70s and 80s


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