Best pasture sought
ADairyNZ-led industry group is on the hunt for the best pasture in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
The first Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition kicks off this summer.
The Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition is an initiative of the Pasture Renewal Leadership Group; a DairyNZ-led industry group including researchers, the seed industry, farmers and agricultural contractors, formed to develop better tools, resources and advice for farmers.
The winner will be selected from six Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional finalists. Up for grabs is an $1800 travel voucher.
‘‘Our aim is to find the ‘best’ pasture in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty that was renewed more than three years ago,’’ said competition organiser and DairyNZ Farm Systems specialist Chris Glassey.
‘‘We want to encourage discussion between farmers from throughout the region on best management practice for persistent pastures in this environment.
‘‘This is part of the Pasture Renewal Leadership Group’s role of ensuring that farmers receive consistent, timely messages on pasture persistence and renewal from throughout the industry.’’
Nominated paddocks must have been renewed at least three years ago; however entries would be accepted for pasture renewed up to 10 years ago, with documented evidence of renewal.
Judging would involve a short interview about the soil fertility and the paddock’s history prior to sowing pasture (at least two years prior). Grazing management around establishment would be discussed, as would the subsequent grazing management and any management during stress periods such as drought. Other management practices such as endophyte selection, weed control, and nitrogen usage would also be discussed.
‘‘We will also be looking for any other information that will help build a picture of the best management practice required for persistence of renewed pastures in this environment,’’ Mr Glassey said.
Entries are open until December 15 with judging held during December and January. The winner will be announced on February 1 and six field days will be held during February and March on the regional finalists and overall winner’s farm.
For more information on the competition or to receive an entry form, call the DairyNZ Farmer Information Service or register online at dairynz.co.nz/ pasturerenewalcompetition
Green pastures: DairyNZ farm systems specialist Chris Glassey said the group wants to encourage discussion between farmers on best management practice for persistent pastures in this environment.