Tuesday, 10 May 2016 07:55

Watch the grass grow

Written by  Peter Burke
DairyNZ's general manager for extension, Andrew Reid. DairyNZ's general manager for extension, Andrew Reid.

Dairy farm owners are paying a lot more attention to what's happening on their farms – especially pasture – because of the low payout.

DairyNZ's general manager for extension, Andrew Reid, says farmers are appraising their pastures much more closely and in many instances are using technology to do this.

— And they are making sure their workers are following DairyNZ's 'pasture first' principles to maximise profitability.

"People now talk less about using supplements," Reid says.

"Farmers are conscious of how much pasture they are growing and are maximising the use of that pasture rather than buying in costly supplements. Many are using supplements as a supplements and not as a standard farming system," he told Dairy News.

DairyNZ staff are noticing that farmers are more focused than ever on pasture production. With good pasture growth in most regions, cow condition is good.

"Overall farmers are focused on next season rather than trying to extend the present season. A lot of farms are on once-a-day milking or at varying stages of drying off for the primary reason of going into winter with favourable pasture covers and cow condition. So the focus this May is on next season, not this season."

According to Reid, overall dairy farms around the country are in good shape.

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