The nationwide events are taking place in September and October, the beginning of the ‘money months’ when more pasture will be grown and more milk produced than any other time of the year.
With uncertainty around where milk prices will go DairyNZ research and development general manager Dr David McCall is urging farmers to focus on what they can control.
“Our research shows pasture, without any input other than basic fertiliser, drives more than 85 percent profit for most farms at a $7.00 per kg MS milk price, but 98 percent at a $4.00 milk price. So it makes sense to get our focus clearly set on managing this important feed source well – we’ve got to make the most of it, particularly this spring,” says David.
“Profitable farmers, no matter what system they run, have a ‘pasture first’ mentality. They measure and work to optimise the cheapest feed source – home grown pasture in spring,” says David.
The events are focused on helping farmers grow and harvest more spring pasture with topics including optimising pasture growth, managing pasture quality and effectively incorporating crops into the system.
“Growing and harvesting an extra tonne of dry matter that has already been paid for can reduce costs by around $0.33 per kgMS – pushing farms closer to breakeven or further into profit.”
Tips for spring include:
- Act quickly to remove supplement when balance date arrives.
- Balance date occurs when soil temperatures are greater than 10 degrees Celsius and pasture cover is at least 2,000kg DM/ha.
- Once balance date is achieved, pasture will meet the nutrient needs of the cow including getting them in calf. Supplement will not improve reproduction if sufficient pasture is on-hand.
- Aggressively identify paddocks for conservation to maintain quality.
Kaikohe, September 13; Dargaville September 14; Wellsford, September 15
Bay of Plenty
Te Puke, September 20; Reporoa, September 22; Mangakino, September 29;
Tokanui, September 21; Putaruru, September 23
Hawera, September 27; Inglewood, September 28
Lower North Island
Tararua, September 27; Manawatu, September 28; Wairarapa, September 29
Culverden, September 27; Mid Canterbury, September 28; South Canterbury, September 29; North Otago September 30
West Coast/Top of the South
Golden Bay, September 27; Murchison, September 28; Hokitika, October 4; Reefton, October 5
South Otago, October 4; Western Southland, October 5; Central Southland, October 6; Eastern Southland, October 7.
For more information visit dairynz.co.nz/tactics
This diagram is based on research data analysed in a modelling programme which replicated as closely as possible a commercial farm operation.
Communications and marketing advisor
021 703 068