DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum to profile Northland feed research

February 5 2019

A Northland research trial evaluating production, environmental and financial outcomes of supplement feed on dairy farms, will be showcased at an upcoming DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum on February 18.

The study, currently underway at the Northland Agricultural Research Farm (NARF) in Dargaville, focuses on the cost/benefit of supplement use and is in its second year comparing three 28ha pasture-based systems with varying stocking rates and feeds.

The Supplement Use in a Variable Climate research is looking at the total system costs and responses to importing supplements in a variable climate and within the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI). It will be profiled at Northland’s DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum, this year being hosted in partnership with the Northland Dairy Development Trust (NDDT).

The forum is being held on Tuesday, February 18, at the ASB Stadium in Whangarei. It is the first of five nationwide in February/March and will also host economist Cameron Bagrie, DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle and strategy and investment leader Dr Bruce Thorrold.

NDDT chair Terence Brocx said the supplement research being presented explores three systems – one is pasture only, the second is pasture and PKE, and the third is pasture and PKE plus other supplements.

“This research is really relevant for farmers in Northland, we farm in such challenging weather conditions and this work will help inform our decision-making in terms of which option is the most environmentally-friendly and economic,” says Terence.

“The trial also tests and demonstrates options to manage feed shortages – through once-a-day milking, early culling, drying off and using supplements to fill feed gaps.”

The Supplement Use in a Variable Climate project is funded by DairyNZ, MPI (Sustainable Farming Fund) and Hine Rangi Trust.

Terence is excited about the supplement research being presented at the Farmers’ Forum.

“NDDT is run by a committee of dedicated farmers and we enjoy being challenged by farmers to ensure our science has relevance and integrity,” says Terence. “Our annual NDDT conference is being held in partnership with DairyNZ’s Farmers’ Forum and we encourage farmers to come along and hear the latest science, policy developments and future predictions for farming.”

Along with the supplement research, Northland’s forum will also present a recent NDDT trial looking at responses to nitrogen, sulphur and potassium spring fertiliser. This was done in response to farmers asking whether they should apply Ammo or urea in early spring each year.

The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum is free for DairyNZ levy payers and their staff. For more information and to register, visit dairynz.co.nz/farmersforum. The forum is held 9.30am-2pm.

Supplement Use in a Variable Climate

Trial information is being presented at the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum on Tuesday, February 18, in Whangarei.

The study is hosted by Northland Agricultural Research Farm and focuses on supplement use in a variable climate and is in its second year comparing three 28ha pasture-based systems with varying stocking rates and feeds.

Farmlet 1. Pasture only: no imported supplement, homegrown grass silage. Stocking rate 2.7 cows/ha.

Farmlet 2. Pasture and PKE: PKE to be fed according to decision rules and constrained by acceptable milk FEI. Stocking rate 3.1 cows/ha.

Farmlet 3. Pasture and PKE + other supplements: PKE and other imported supplements to be fed according to decision rules but constrained by acceptable milk FEI. Stocking rate 3.1 cows/ha.

For more information, visit www.nddt.nz

The Supplement Use in a Variable Climate project is funded by DairyNZ, MPI (Sustainable Farming Fund) and Hine Rangi Trust.

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Fever

Senior Communications and Media Specialist

Phone 027 836 6295

Vanessa.feaver@dairynz.co.nz

Lee Cowan

Senior Engagement & Communications Manager

Phone 021 930 836

lee.cowan@dairynz.co.nz

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