Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Powering conversions for the future

Powering conversions for the future

For immediate release
14 December 2007

It’s the best deal going, but it is often overlooked.

New generation grass and clover seed costs less than 1 per cent of the total cost of converting a new dairy farm.

Yet it generates a significant proportion of income for years to come.
Recent estimates put the total price for conversion averaging close to $50,000/ha, including cows, shares, land and farm infrastructure but not including irrigation.

The seed for a standard proprietary pasture mix like Bronsyn Plus AR1, Kotare and Sustain can cost $240/ha.

“That’s 0.48% of the total cost of conversion!” says Jason Gardner, upper South Island area manager for Agriseeds.

“If you exclude cows, typical conversion costs are about $34,000/ha, comprising land, shares, and development. Even in this context proprietary grass seed makes up only 0.7 per cent of the cost.

“Which is nothing, especially for something that provides the powerhouse of any conversion. If you’re putting in irrigation, the true cost of seed as a percentage of conversion costs will be even less.”

In most South Island situations pastures will generate over 90 per cent of the forage consumed. Therefore it is essential to have the most productive pasture varieties available, Jason Gardner says.

New pasture varieties typically grow 6-8 tonnes more DM/ha (or 50-100%) than old poorer producing grass and clover.

They produce more MS/ha, have higher ME, recover from grazing quicker, have better seasonal growth and are easier to manage for optimal quality.

Because of this superior performance, new generation pastures typically pay for themselves within year one, meaning the following years are all profit, he points out.

The true cost of proprietary pasture seed in the context of a conversion may come as a shock to many farmers, he says.

“There is a lot of money tied up in land, cows and shares. Taking some time to check out existing pastures and which varieties to sow will help maximise this investment.
“Looking for ways to ‘save’ on pastures, in most cases is just false economy, if not potentially a cost in the future.”

Old pastures may look good in the spring, but will never match newer varieties when it comes to delivering the DM and ME per ha throughout the rest of the year. Both of these characteristics are essential to keep new conversions firing for the long haul.

“Regardless of how you do the sums, proprietary grass seed is an insignificant expense in the bigger picture of converting a dairy property.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO:

CO2 And Water: Fonterra (And Dairy NZ)'s Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>

ALSO:

Fisheries: Decision To Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

Conservation group representatives say a decision by the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, to delay implementation of camera monitoring of fishing efforts in New Zealand is ‘fatally flawed’. More>>

ALSO: