Tuesday, 14 September 2021 16:55

Lincoln launches new research

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Lincoln University Dairy Farm is expanding research to include variable milking frequency, moving the forage base to include plantain, and replacement rate reduction. Lincoln University Dairy Farm is expanding research to include variable milking frequency, moving the forage base to include plantain, and replacement rate reduction.

Three new farming systems are being implemented to expand Lincoln University Dairy Farm’s (LUDF) focus and extend its outlook through to 2030.

The research is on variable milking frequency, moving the forage base to include plantain, and replacement rate reduction.

The South Island Dairying Demonstration Centre (SIDDC) has revised LUDF farm systems to more effectively contribute to New Zealand dairying and the wider primary sector.

Lincoln University deputy vicechancellor Professor Grant Edwards says SIDDC is committed to taking a leadership role in dairy farming in New Zealand through LUDF.

“It’s important that the partnership regularly reassesses and revisits the farm’s systems to consolidate its position at the vanguard of current and future scenarios.”

DairyNZ general manager for new systems and competitiveness, Dr David McCall, says New Zealand’s dairy sector is committed to remaining the most sustainable milk producers.

“As a SIDDC partner, we support LUDF implementing new farm systems. It is also exciting to see the adoption of variable milking frequencies, following DairyNZ’s three-year flexible milking project which highlighted the opportunities this system presents farmers.”

The variable milking programme will be implemented in the 2021/22 season and involves moving from the traditional twice-a-day milking to a more flexible milking regime with ten milkings over the course of a week.

SIDDC demonstration manager Jeremy Savage says there are many benefits to variable milking.

“A variable milking programme will not only improve cow welfare through less lameness, better overall health condition and enhanced vigour, but will also lift the safety and wellbeing of staff, with kinder rosters, fewer early starts and more condensed workloads allowing for better work/life balance,” he says.

Additionally, Savage says that starting in October 2021, LUDF will plant at least 10% of the farm into plantain each year.

“This is a forage that may significantly reduce nitrogen leaching. With cow intakes of 30% plantain or higher we anticipate LUDF will achieve further improvements to its nitrogen leaching results,” he says.

He says the potential benefits of reducing on-farm nitrogen leaching by up to 20% by managing cows’ diets are ‘obvious’ and ‘compelling’.

In introducing plantain, LUDF is applying research from the Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching (FRNL) project, a six-year cross-sector programme that looked at ways in which forages can reduce nitrate leaching.

More like this

Sheep researcher looks into methane reduction

How breeding sheep for intestinal parasite resistance or resilience affects their methane emissions is the focus of research currently being completed by a Lincoln University scholarship winner.

T&G and Lincoln join forces

A new partnership offering students a hands-on learning experience and pathway into employment in the horticulture industry has been announced by T&G Global and Lincoln University.

Tourism reset could hurt agricultural exporters

The Government’s proposal to reduce future international tourism visitor numbers post Covid-19 to concentrate on higher spending visitors may solve one problem but create others, according to Lincoln University researchers.


Elite herd offered online

An elite Southland Friesian herd is set to become the biggest single livestock offering sold online so far.

Lameness data collection snag

Fonterra says its Farm Insights Report sent out to farmers recently doesn’t benchmark lameness on shareholders’ farms.

Machinery & Products

Gongs for John Deere

The tractor of the Year 2022 Awards, held at the recent EIMA show in Bologna, handed out a brace of…

Digital pre-start safety checks

According to numbers published by ACC, more than 60 farm-related injuries are reported every day, leaving much room for improvement.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Seaweed saviour

OPINION: Scientists in Ireland are going underwater to solve their dairy sector’s methane conundrum.

Due recognition

OPINION: National's new leader Christopher Luxon’s first speech after his elevation to the top job included one important line about…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter