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Te Puke (Tiller Talk)

Tiller Talk
System Type: 3
Bay of Plenty
Last Update:
21 February 2018

DairyNZ Comment:

21 Feb 2018
  • Wow, has it been a month for growing grass!  After the dry December, where some decisions were made about cow numbers, milking intervals and rotation length, there’s been an embarrassment of riches (as far as pasture goes) which has added some complexities to grazing management. There’s been some supplement made, which will go some way to making up for the lack of opportunity through October to December. For some, the opportunity to renew some paddocks and pastures that were damaged by the on-going wet period that we went through (remember that!?), dropping some paddocks out of the grazing round for renewal will be an option.

    Extended wet and dry periods, treading damage and pests will lead to a deterioration in pasture performance over time. What we’ll see is

    · A decline in total drymatter production

    · A change in pasture composition with a decrease in the desirable species

    · A reduction in the feed value of the pasture and consequently a decline in milk production.

    There could be pastures on your property that are only 50% as productive as the best paddocks. Established properly, you could have pastures growing 8 TDM/ha more than they are at present. With the climatic variations between seasons more noticeable, another factor we need to consider is that of having pastures that are better able to cope with the extremes we seem to be experiencing.

    New pastures will generally have a higher metabolisable energy content. More desirable species, later and more uniform flowering, a leafier sward that produces less seed heads and less dead material are some of the advantages of newer pastures.

    All of this will mean that the cows will be fed better. This will lead to more milksolids and more likelihood that cow requirements will be met.

    Replacing poor and underperforming pastures is profitable. The DairyNZ Pasture Renewal Calculator (www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/pasture-renewal/assessing-the-value-of-renewal/) is a tool that will help you evaluate the economic return from pasture renewal using your numbers.  Give it a go – you know you want to!


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  • Date Collected

    21 Feb 2018

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