Farm Summary 2015-16
Variable weather in 15/16 required continuously changing decisions. With a dry summer pre-December, stocking rates were reduced early at Cave, but with prolonged rains delivering substantial moisture later in the summer, lambs were brought onto the farm in the new calendar year.
As a result of the weather, pasture production decreased and this was not offset by crops and supplement, leading to a decrease in beef production by 38%.However this has contributed to a decrease of 27% in N leaching.
Sheep meat (kg)
Total animal products (kg)
Pasture production (kg DM/ha)2
DMI (OVERSEER; kg/ha) – total
Home-grown supp. (kg/ha)
Imported supp. (kg/ha)
Dry matter intake (Farmax; kg/Ha)
Stocking rate (SU/ha)
N leaching losses (kg N)
N leaching losses (kg N/ha)
N leaching (kg N/kg product)
Effective area (OVERSEER)
Total area (OVERSEER)
1 “Beef” means both beef carcass and that leaving the farm as live weight gain on grazed dairy cattle.
2 Weighted average from Farmax (potential + N)
- 360 effective ha
- 30ha barley for grain or silage
- 600ml average rainfall
- 1000 breeding Coopdale ewes
- 130 R1 bulls
- 60 R2 bulls
- 230 R1 dairy heifers
- 230 R2 dairy heifers
What are you getting out of the FRNL project?
- Ensuring we continue best practises meeting ECANs MGM.
- Monitoring/measuring of pasture and animal performance that can be benchmarked against industry.
- Continually challenged on current farm practises and ideas to change or adopt new science or ideas.
- Challenged to adopt best environmental standards to minimise nutrient losses.
Why did you decide to join the project?
“This project offers the opportunity to progress our business and to learn best practise to reduce Nitrate leaching. As a dry sheep and beef property with dairy grazing the environmental impacts of our business are not yet fully understood. Profitability is driven by innovation and this project provides that.”
What do you hope to get out of the project?
“Support for future business planning and driving best practice.”
Why do you think it's important?
"With the direction the industry is heading, legislation, river catchment allocation etc. it’s important to have as much information as possible."
How will farmers and the industry benefit?
“Gaining understanding and appreciation for a) what we are doing now and b) what we can do going forwards.
The project can inform industry on making better management and crop decisions to increase nutrient uptake and reduce run off.”
An article relating to the FRNL project was published in Inside Dairy November 2014