The forum will update farmers on a project looking at the effects of transitioning a herd from spring-calving to autumn-calving. The project is being delivered by Dairy Trust Taranaki with support and funding from DairyNZ.
“Autumn calving is an option that some Taranaki farmers think may better suit the dry summers and warm winters they experience in this region,” says DairyNZ senior scientist Dr Jane Kay.
“Given this interest among local farmers we are supporting Dairy Trust Taranaki to investigate the costs and benefits of different systems.”
Provisional results of the Kavanagh farm trial, which compared a steady state spring-calving herd with a herd that has transitioned from spring-calving to autumn-calving, will be presented at the forum.
The presentation will cover differences in animal performance such as milk production, reproduction, body condition scores and changes in pasture growth and supplementary feed use from the first two years of the three-year project.
Massey University Masters student Jake Jarman analysed the project data and will be delivering the presentation in conjunction with Dairy Trust Taranaki.
“Local farmers want to know if autumn calving is an option for them, so it’s exciting to be able to aid their decision-making in this area by providing good quality data and analyses,” says Jake Jarman.
The forum is the fourth of five forums nationwide during February and March, and will be held at Dairy Trust Taranaki’s Gibson Farm at Hawera.
Forum guest speakers include celebrity chef Nadia Lim, who will talk on the future of food and economist Cameron Bagrie, who will discuss global markets, opportunity and risk.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle will share farmer feedback and DairyNZ’s planned future focus, while DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr Bruce Thorrold will cover the dairy sector today and future demands.
The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum is free for DairyNZ levy payers and their staff. For more information and to register, visit dairynz.co.nz/farmersforum. The forum is held from 9.30am-3.30pm.
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