Dairy farm pro­duc­tiv­ity poor

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Dairy farm pro­duc­tiv­ity de­clined 0.5 per cent a year be­tween 2000 and 2010 be­cause of in­creas­ing in­put costs, DairyNZ pro­duc­tiv­ity de­vel­op­ment team leader Rob Brazen­dale said.

‘‘The in­dus­try is not per­form­ing that well in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity.’’

In the last year, pro­duc­tion costs in New Zealand’s dairy in­dus­try had risen above the costs in the Aus­tralian in­dus­try, Brazen­dale said.

‘‘More feed grown on farm will in­crease our com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion if it’s done prop­erly. We have to im­prove our com­pet­i­tive­ness by im­prov­ing our per­for­mance on farm.’’

Bet­ter dairy pas­ture would raise the in­dus­try’s pro­duc­tiv­ity, be­cause it would put more feed into milk pro­duc­tion. Crop­ping was one way to achieve that. ‘‘You get bet­ter pas­ture re­newal through crop­ping and the qual­ity of the pas­ture af­fects the profit per hectare.’’

Stud­ies show hav­ing about 12 per cent of a dairy farm in crop pro­duced the best re­sult, which was also highly de­pen­dent on crop yield, man­age­ment and min­i­mal wastage.

It was cru­cial not to let the growth of the crop com­pro­mise the new pas­ture. Crit­i­cal fac­tors were the right crop, yield, tim­ing and use. Hav­ing feed on hand dur­ing the first year of crop-grow­ing was also im­por­tant, he said.

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