Driving production, profit and environment in all-grazed systems
Can farm systems achieve high profitability and high efficiency for conversion of inputs to milk, from direct-grazed pasture and crop, while lowering the farm nutrient footprint? This question is being addressed by Pastoral 21 projects in the Waikato and Canterbury.
Can off-paddock systems balance profit with the environment?
Pastoral 21 projects in Manawatu and South Otago are investigating how standing cows off-paddock can benefit productivity and reduce impacts on water quality, while maximising pasture utilisation.
Understanding the environmental footprint of farm systems
The Pastoral 21 programme’s challenge is to quantify the losses of nitrogen and phosphorus in water from the farm systems evaluated. So far, there are strong indications of less loss from the alternative systems using lower stocking rates, crops and off-paddock systems. Questions remain to be answered on the financial returns.
Forage systems to reduce nitrate leaching
There is potential for substantial growth in the economic value produced by New Zealand agriculture. In the livestock industries, this growth will require increases in feed production for animals from grazed pasture, plus a greater contribution from forage crops, but within nutrient discharge limits set by regional councils.