Contest seeks best pastures
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 www.dairynz.co.nz/ pasturerenewalcompetition.