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PasturePlan

‘Inverness’, Andrew and Helen Fraser

Location: Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsula.

Farm size & type: 1,054 ha. Breeding farm with emphasis on getting maximum lamb weighs off mothers prior to weaning.

Topography: Steep hill country.

Rainfall: Tipperary sites, 800 mm/yr. Holmes Bay Valley sites, 1,080 mm/yr.

Climate: Tipperary – summer dry with good winter-early spring growth. Holmes Bay – generally better summer growth country, but colder in the winter with growth starting later in spring.

Soil type: n/a.

Fertiliser regime: Regular applications in recent years. 250 kg/ha of DAP 15S in autumn, and 120 kg/ha urea in spring.

Soil fertility
Plot pH Ca P K S(SO4) OS Mg Na
(a) Native pasture, easy 5.5 7 36 15 12 11 55 8
(b) New ryegrass (Horizon) 6.3 9 19 13 7 10 17 8
(c) Native, easy, north-facing 5.4 4 22 12 10 11 39 8

Stock numbers: 8,000 su total. 6,000 su sheep, with the remainder beef cattle and deer.

Carrying capacity: n/a.

Plot descriptions: (a) Native pasture, easy. (b) New ryegrass (Horizon). (c) Native, easy, north-facing.

Detailed description: On the two older pastures, a comparison is being made between fertiliser and unfertilised sites.

Farmer's comments: "I jumped at the opportunity to be part of PasturePlan. I have had cutting cages for two years now but have never really done anything with the data. This project has given it structure and meaning.

"Basically I'm operating a grass factory and I've got to utilise every kg of feed to convert it to kg's of saleable wool and meat.

"For me it's the next logical step upping my skill levels so I have a better understanding of grass growth rates and to be more efficient with my grass." (Andrew Fraser)

Results published: Canterbury Farmer

Local Meat & Wool Innovation contact: Alan Marshall, tel 03-325 6911, cell 025-329 399, alan.marshall@mwi.co.nz

 

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