In his third season, sharemilker and Ravensdown shareholder James Barbour takes us through the farm’s approach to nutrient management.
This result highlights farmers know that annual pasture renewal is vital to their operations and yet they do now always carry through.
To encourage more action on pasture renewal, agribusiness organisations have the opportunity to get alongside farmers to discuss their annual pasture renewal programmes through the "Win a Free Paddock" campaign which runs from January 20 through until the closure date of February 28.
Open to all farmers (from both the dairy and sheep/beef/deer sectors) the three prizes, valued at $8,000 each, will be drawn on March 5, 2013. The prizes consist of products and technical advice used in the pasture renewal process and may be redeemed direct from the winners' nominated rural retailer.
On-line entries are encouraged at www.pasturerenewal.org.nz. Entry forms are also available from most rural retailers or direct from their representatives. Winners can undertake their pasture renewal in either autumn or spring depending on their farming system and location.
Run by the Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust (PRCT), the competition is an excellent chance to be "in the money" and "do something about the difference" between the best producing paddock on farm and the worst", to boost overall farm productivity, says PRCT project manager Nicola Holmes.
"PRCT recognises the importance of trusted, long-term working relationships between rural retailer representatives, contractors, consultants and farmers and having them plan programmes and timing of pasture sowing to ensure the best results," says Holmes.
"Right now plans for autumn pasture renewal activity for 2013 will be well underway on many North Island dairy farms."
Nicola says The CINTA survey of 600 dairy farmers nationwide shows cropping programmes, not finances, is the biggest barrier to increased areas of pasture renewal on New Zealand dairy farms.
Around New Zealand the total percentage of pasture renewal falls well behind the 10-12% annually recommended by the Trust. Dairy farmers renew around 6-7% annually and the sheep and beef sector 2-3%.