Here you'll find comprehensive details of the major trials that NDDT and NARF have undertaken over the last twenty years.
Please email us via this website for ideas for further research. We welcome all comments.
See below for details of
- Imported Feed Trial
- Partner Farm Project
- Kikuyu Trial
- Gibberellic Trial
- Mastitis Trial
- Split Calving Trial
REDUCING RELIANCE ON IMPORTED FEED 2015-2018
Northland farmers have clearly identified that they would like to reduce their reliance on imported feed, and need to know the financial implications of this.
This 3 year trial finished in June 2018 and addresses the following issues:
- Can Northland dairy farms maintain production and profit with reduced imported feed
- How do we replace imported feed with extra forage grown on farm
- How do we manage climate variation with reduced reliance on imported feed
There are three farmlets of 28ha each capturing physical and financial information about the farming systems:
PKE Farmlet 20 – 30% of feed imported, primarily as PKE.
Cropping Farmlet All feed grown on farm including a range of forage crops such as maize, turnips, fodder beet.
Grass only Farmlet Baseline production and profit to evaluate the impact of supplement use and cropping within farmlets 1 & 2. No imported feed or cropping.
See below for the full summary of results for the whole three year period, showing the profitability of the Pasture Only Farm and the PKE Farm surprisingly close, with the Cropping Farm the least profitable in all three years
For more detailed information on any of the three years contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PARTNER FARM PROJECT
The Northland Partner Farm Project followed on from the success of the Northland Focus Farm. Two further farms were monitored and mentored through three years to make significant improvements in their businesses. Click below for full details
This would suggest that efforts should be focussed on managing kikuyu well rather than eradicating large areas of kikuyu. Download the 2 page summary or the full report below
KIKUYU MANAGEMENT GUIDE
GIBBERELLIC TRIAL 2015
This is consistent with other trial work, showing that Gibb is a useful tool for bringing pasture growth forward in early spring but does not increase overall DM production, and there can be a significant reduction in pasture growth following the last application.
MASTITIS TRIAL 2010
This trial was unique in the way it measured how a combination of teat-spraying and whole herd DCT affect clinical mastitis and production in a pasture-based herd.
TS lowered the number of mastitis infections but there was no effect on production of either TS or DCT over the two seasons.
SPLIT CALVING TRIAL 1997-2000
This 3 year trial at NARF compared all autumn calving with spring calving. The farm has very wet soils and was a real test for winter milking, but the trial showed that a high level of pasture management was more critical to the success of winter milking than soil type.
The autumn calving cows had longer lactations and higher production per cow than spring calvers but the lower stocking rate caused slightly lower production per ha.
Profitability of the autumn calving farm was driven by the size of the winter milk premium and the cost of imported supplements.