The field day will be held at Craig and Graham Anderson’s farm near Waipukurau. The Andersons run a mixed business with heifers, winter cows, cropping, hogget grazing and some beef across four blocks totalling 1600ha.
DairyNZ consulting officer Scott Cameron says the field day will focus on helping farmers manage through dry periods with a view to setting up for next season.
“Summer can be quite extreme in Central Hawke's Bay. The timing and location of the field day was planned so farmers can see how the Anderson’s manage through dry weather,” says Scott.
“Autumn is often the most challenging season to grow heifers due to low pasture growth rates and peak animal demand. To cover all bases we’ll look at ‘what-if’ scenarios and strategies that can be put in place to ensure target weights that are set out in grazing contracts are met.
“The Andersons run 1200 heifers and 820 weaners with no irrigation, so careful planning is needed to reduce the impact of summer dry – that plan will be discussed at the field day.”
Scott says as well as talking through the Anderson’s plans, the field day will provide an update on the region’s heifer grazing focus farm near Marton, owned by Andy Stewart.
“To date we have run four field days hosted by Andy. These have covered a wide range of topics as we have tracked the animals from weaners in December through to in-calf heifers in May when they leave the farm,” says Scott.
A final focus farm field day will be held at Andy’s farm in May.
Heifer Grazing Project
The field day is part of the Heifer Grazing Project, led by DairyNZ in collaboration with dairy farmers, graziers, grazing companies, vets, Beef + Lamb and LIC.
The project was launched in December 2014 after an LIC study of more than 105,000 animals showed 73 percent were more than five percent underweight at 22 months old.
Five focus farms have been set up around the country with the aim of finding and demonstrating solutions to increase the number of young stock that achieve liveweight targets and improve the national six-week in-calf rate. One of those is in the Lower North Island.
For more information visit dairynz.co.nz/events.
FIELD DAY DETAILS
March 15, 10.30-1.30
Graham and Craig Anderson’s farm
233 Tukituki Rd, Waipukurau Central Hawke’s Bay
BBQ lunch provided
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy March 2016