12 Dec 2014

It’s what’s happening under the grass we really want to know

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at the Tauhara Moana farm field-day. Mark Johnston, the farm supervisor, is contemplating the pasture residual while explaining to the assembled group of farmers how having the Regen system has meant they fully understood the farm’s soil moisture deficit and so have already added some silage in to extend the rotation, knowing that pasture growth rates would be falling.

In a tight season it is vital to know as much as possible about what is going to happen, and plan accordingly. Basic information like soil moisture deficit, soil temperature and rainfall is fundamental to what is going to happen to pasture growth which again is fundamental to decisions on supplements and ultimately milk in the vat.

Tauhara Moana is a large scale dairy farm near Taupo and has been a DairyNZ focus farm for a few years. The discussion on the day, led by DairyNZ’s Moana Puha, was very open and very supportive for the team. The group identified the areas of performance that they are doing well in, and have made significant improvements in. Then some useful discussion on the areas they are still working on – options, the experience from other farmers in the area, the challenges to achieve their goals. Discussion groups are part of New Zealand dairying’s competitive advantage, and this was really good example of why.

This is our last Blog Post for 2014; we will be back mid-January 2015 to share more of our stories and yours. We wish you all a happy and safe festive season, and for the rain to fall and the sun to shine in equal measure!

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