31 Jul 2015

Economics 'stack up' on pasture renewal

10:10 am on 31 July 2015

A trust set up to encourage farmers to renew their pasture more often says its message is especially pertinent for financially challenged dairy farmers right now.

New Zealand farm

Photo: 123rf

The Pasture Renewal Trust said farmers had increased the rate at which they are replacing old pasture to boost their production.

But it said farmers had not yet reached the national target it set eight years ago of replacing 10 percent of their pasture a year.

Chair Murray Willocks said the economics stacked up - the cost of regrassing was about 1 percent of operating costs, but the return on investment from pasture renewal could range from 10 percent to 35 percent.

"I guess this year really highlights it: the dairy payouts gone and farmers and DairyNZ and banks and most commentators around the dairy industry are saying focus on your pasture, get your pastures going.

"That's around grazing and managing them properly but also renewing them and even in a low payout, there's a very, very good return on investment."