29 Jul 2015

Expert advice on dairy farm grazing

8:08 am on 29 July 2015

The national dairy industry body has had strong interest from dairy farmers to its latest initiative to help them get through a second season of plunging milk prices.

As part of its Tactics for Tight Times campaign, DairyNZ is offering one-on-one support to help financially struggling farmers to grow and harvest more pasture without adding to their costs.

Dairy cow.

Dairy cow. Photo: SUPPLIED

It said about 400 farmers so far had signed up to have a visit from an expert during August to advise them on making the best use of early spring grazing.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said growing an extra tonne of pasture could give the average operator another $30,000 of milk income in the lead-up to Christmas.

Tim Mackle, the Chief Executive of DairyNZ.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

"The focus really with this is, how do we take some costs out of the system for farmers, but at the same time also increase income by harvesting another tonne of dry matter before Christmas, and we think there's potentially 30 to 40 cents per kilogram of milk solids available.

"For some, it will be a matter of just checking to see whether the plan that they've got for allocating feed is on track.

"For others, there might be some changes to their regimes needed, and others may not actually have spring rotation plans in place, so for them, it might be actually hooking them up with someone who can provide that level of support.

"But it's really about making sure the feed's being utilised as efficiently as they can through that spring period."

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