Pasture Renewal

November 2008
The Pasture Renewal Trust was set up by a group of companies who have an interest in the pasture market.

They say that the rate that pastures are renewed in New Zealand is less than it should be.

A typical older dairy pasture might be producing 12 tonne dry matter each year if its renewed it typically goes up by 6 tonne DM/ha. Convert that to milk in the vat and thats a lot more cash than the costs involved in establishing it.

Currently the rate of pasture renewal on sheep/beef farms is thought to be around 2%. Dairy farms are higher at about 5%.

The Pasture Trust people say that farmers are tending to make a decision about how much pasture to renew based on what supplementary crops they are growing and not thinking enough about the real profit centre the grass.

Roger McVeigh

Roger and wife Jenny wintered 580 cows milking around 560 this season.

The farm is 146 ha effective. Its in its second year of conversion.

Roger says the pasture was well established in the February and had no grazing until the cows arrived in July.

He says he hadnt made any plans for pasture renewal but in conversation with the seed people started looking at it.

He said he had one paddock that he wasnt happy with so decided to go ahead. They sprayed out the one year old pasture and started again.

He says he got odd looks from the spray contractor but is happy with the result.

Hes now adopted a scheme of:

1 paddock undersown

1 paddock sprayed out and replanted.

Further down the track hell double it to 2 undersown and 2 sprayed out.