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PasturePlan pasture growth monitoring programme

Online results are available HERE

Meat & Wool Innovation's national pasture growth monitoring programme, PasturePlan, aims to make farmers more aware of the benefits of monitoring pasture growth.

By measuring how much pasture is in a paddock, farmers can make accurate feed budgets, plan feed requirements and make better grazing management decisions. By matching feed supply with animal demand, farm productivity can be maximised.

As part of PasturePlan, farmers are calibrating plate meters and pasture probes for use in sheep pasture. By using devices such as these, farmers will be able to get a better handle on how well they are feeding their stock.

Each fortnight, 40 PasturePlan farmers (individual farm profiles are on this site) cut a fixed area of pasture on two sites on their farms, weigh it and send a sample to AgResearch Lincoln for nutritional analysis.

At Lincoln the pasture cuts are dried and the dry matter percentage calculated to obtain the DM cover per hectare.

The summarised results are being published each month in regional papers, along with soil temperature, available soil moisture (as a percentage), growth (kg DM/ha) and the quality (MJME/kg) of the pasture, and a brief interpretation of the results by AgResearch pasture specialist Tom Fraser.

Canterbury region
Otago region
Central and Northern North Island
North Island East Coast
Southland region
Southern North Island
North Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough

The pasture plan programme has been running for over a year, and as a result a database of pasture growth rates has been built up. These results have been placed into a graph format to enable the following aspects to be observed:
• Pasture growth and availability curve
• Timing and rate of increases in pasture growth
• Losses or gains in herbage production resulting from seasonal variability
• Production comparisons from different sites which enabe topography, species, pasture age, fertility and location comparisons

These results are available in Excel form here



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