Wednesday, 21 February 2024 09:55

App helps get best out of pasture

Written by  Staff Reporters
Available at the grassmanship.nz website, the app comes packed with features, including several calculators. Available at the grassmanship.nz website, the app comes packed with features, including several calculators.

Ever wondered what the financial result would be if you let pasture weeds get away on you? There's now a tool to find the answer.

It's free, can be personalised to paddocks, and it will help quantify exactly what a farmer stands to gain or lose by making certain spending decisions about looking after homegrown pasture this season.

Nufarm says its new Grassmanship web-based app is designed to help farmers and their advisors get the best out of pastures all year.

Available at the grassmanship.nz website, it comes packed with features, including several calculators so you can compare and contrast the outcome of different weed control scenarios in terms of net return on investment per hectare.

"Old run out pastures don't produce as much feed as newer, higher performing pastures, just like maintenance fertiliser supports higher annual feed production, and improved animal genetics benefit your business.

"However, during tighter financial times, it's understandable to look for ways to trim on-farm costs, with feed, labour and/or weed management programmes being typical budget categories that come under scrutiny. The truth is, investing in controlling pasture weeds, particularly in newly sown pasture, pays a return within 6 to 12 months in a range of situations.

"That's why we've loaded Grassmanship with seven different calculators - each with North and South Island options - to cover the most common pasture weed control use-cases on farms across the country. As well as spring weeds for dairy farms, you'll also find winter weeds and new pasture for dairy, beef and sheep," the company says.

Clean, productive pastures, year-round, offer a double win, because they give you both higher dry matter yield, and better feed quality, than those which are infested with weeds.

That sets up on-going systemic benefits, not least being easier grazing management, happier animals and more milk, weight gain and/or meat.

In addition to the calculators, grassmanship.nz also provides useful information to you and your advisors get the optimal results from a pasture protection programme, includes a range of Nufarm's resources that support best practice, and a suite of Grassmanship products.

Much of the background data is built from commonly referred to industry statistics and regional pasture growth data generated by Beef + Lamb NZ and DairyNZ. The tool assumes good agricultural practice - using the right products at the right rates and at the right time. Spraying weeds earlier, rather than later often yields the best results.

Grassmanship.nz is the first of a suite of decision support tools for farmers and rural professionals that we plan to develop further.

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