“The FVI helps me to harvest as much pasture as possible,” says John. “I identify varieties on the FVI which have the potential to perform the best in my area.”
By selecting the best cultivars for his system on the FVI, John says he has maximised pasture grown per hectare and increased profit.
“The key is to optimise future pasture production and quality while maintaining good milk production and reproductive performance,” says John.
“The lowest yielding 5-10% of pastures are producing almost half the amount of dry matter as the highest yielding pastures, so by renewing these pastures and bringing them into the top 5-10%, we generate quality feed cheaply.
“In our 110ha operation, by renewing 9ha annually, we grow an extra 5tDM/ha (45tDM/ha total) which is worth over $15,000 (at 35c/kgDM) for a fraction of that cost.”
John says the FVI is easy to use, providing you have an idea of some of the attributes you are looking for.
“I look for the cultivars with the highest star rating, but it has to be the correct endophyte and ploidy for my system,” says John.
John recently won the DairyNZ Pasture Renewal Leadership Group’s pasture renewal competition for best first-year pasture.
The winning paddock was sown with One50 AR37 ? a diploid perennial ryegrass with a high ranking on the FVI for the northern North Island.
John Assen - 50:50 sharemilker
Taupiri, North Waikato