Con­test seeks best pas­tures

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

The hunt is on for the best dairy pas­ture in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. En­tries are now open for the Pas­ture Re­newal Per­sis­tence Com­pe­ti­tion run by the DairyNZ-led Pas­ture Re­newal Lead­er­ship Group.

Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser and DairyNZ farm sys­tems spe­cial­ist Chris Glassey said last sum­mer’s drought was a se­ri­ous chal­lenge for pas­tures, as was the drought in 2008.

‘‘Farm­ers were keen to look af­ter their pas­tures dur­ing the 2013 drought, and indi­ca­tions are that this led to im­proved re­cov­ery and es­tab­lish­ment of new pas­tures com­pared with 2008.

‘‘And we’re keen to dis­cover what farm­ers did to man­age their pas­ture and pas­ture re­newal so well this year,’’ said Chris.

Farm­ers can en­ter in two cat­e­gories; best Waikato/ BOP first year pas­ture sown this year and best Waikato/ BOP pas­ture sown more than three years ago.

Up for grabs are two seed and her­bi­cide pack­ages to the value of $1000 each.

The Pas­ture Re­newal Lead­er­ship Group is a DairyNZ-led in­dus­try group, which in­cludes re­searchers, the seed in­dus­try, farm­ers and agri­cul­tural con­trac­tors. It was formed to de­velop bet­ter tools, re­sources and ad­vice for farm­ers.

Judg­ing will in­volve a short in­ter­view about the soil fer­til­ity and the pad­dock’s his­tory prior to and since re-sow­ing. Man­age­ment prac­tices such as graz­ing man­age­ment, en­do­phyte se­lec­tion, weed con­trol and ni­tro­gen us­age will 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,’’ said Chris.

En­tries are open un­til Novem­ber 25 with judg­ing held dur­ing De­cem­ber. Win­ners’ field days will be held be­tween Fe­bru­ary 10-14, 2014.

For more in­for­ma­tion call the DairyNZ Farmer In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969) or reg­is­ter online at pas­turere­newal­com­pe­ti­tion.

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