Sunday, 04 September 2016 19:55

How will you manage your farm’s footprint?

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At a focus day in March. At a focus day in March.

With the impending release of the ‘Healthy River’s Plan for Change’, Owl Farm’s next Farm Focus Day on Wednesday, September 14 will include a session on changing environmental legalisation.

Mike Scarsbrook from DairyNZ will set the context and explain what the likely changes will mean for farmers.

Ian Tarbotton from Ballance will discuss Owl Farm’s nutrient management strategy and philosophy of how they plan to manage the changes.

“Changes to environmental regulations are going to be critically important to how we operate our businesses,” says Farm Demonstration Manager Doug Dibley. “Understanding what these mean and the options we have available to manage our footprints are therefore vital.”

The Focus Day will start with a season-to-date wrap-up, discussing how the farm has fared through calving, and how it is placed going into mating.

PGG Wrightson Seeds will discuss some of the results from the farm’s investment in pasture renovation following a recent pasture condition scoring exercise. This has shown a significant improvement in the pasture condition since the same exercise was undertaken this time last year.

Following on from this but staying with PGG Wrightson Seeds there will be a discussion of summer cropping. Last season, Owl Farm planted chicory as a summer crop. “This was largely a success,” says Doug, “but we have identified several factors which can be implemented to improve the overall performance of our summer cropping.”

PGG Wrightson recently undertook a performance review of the chicory, covering how much was grown per hectare and what the cost of this feed was, including the cost of pasture forgone. Using this simple process, it is envisaged other farmers will be able to objectively review the relative performance of their own crops to determine if they remain a viable option going forward.

Owl Farm Focus Days are for farm owners, farm workers and rural professionals to meet, network and share ideas. Join Doug and industry members on September 14 to find out more about planning for change, meeting environmental standards, summer cropping and more.

Owl’s Farm in the Waikato is a joint venture between St Peter’s School and Lincoln University.

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