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

 


Dairy farmers have cost effective “friend in N”

26 February 2013

Dairy farmers have cost effective “friend in N”

With high demand in dry areas edging up the price of supplementary feed, dairy farmers wanting to maintain production into late autumn have got an increasingly cost effective “friend in N”, says Ballance Science Extension Manager Aaron Stafford.

“As a feed source home grown pasture remains your best bang for buck and with supplementary feed prices now averaging $50 a tonne more, farms that are not battling the dry conditions will find N an even more competitive tool for extending autumn lactation and maintaining herd condition.”

Aaron says products like SustaiN Green, which reduces ammonia volatilisation, offer farmers more flexibility to apply nitrogen when it’s needed most or when it suits them better, even if the weather or soil conditions often experienced during autumn are not optimal.

He says the product also stacks up well when it comes to farm budgets by minimising nitrogen losses so farmers can get the most out of their fertiliser investment.

“Taking an average autumn N response of seven kilograms of extra pasture dry matter for every kilogram of N applied, and including $120 per tonne for application and cartage, using SustaiN Green to grow additional pasture means each kilogram of additional dry matter grown costs about 29 cents. A PKE, at 90% dry matter comes in at 35 cents a kilo when the average spot price is $300 a tonne and as these prices rise, N becomes even more competitive.”

Mr Stafford says other alternative supplementary feeds such as maize or cereal silage present a similar picture, usually costing 30-40 cents/kg DM. In addition, without use of a feedpad, high wastage and pasture damage can further reduce the economics of these alternative options.

“With autumn applied N, it is important to get this on earlier rather than later to ensure soil temperature does not limit the size or timeliness of the N response, but as all farmers know, you need to watch the weather if using standard urea. Without rainfall within 24 hours of application ammonia volatilisation losses from standard urea can be significant, in excess of 10-15% of the N applied.”

Ballance-funded studies by AgResearch scientists show that in pastoral conditions, using SustaiN Green instead of urea will result in an average 50% reduction in volatilisation losses. This is in agreement with results from international research.

Other research also supports autumn pasture as a cost effective choice for maintaining herd condition ahead of calving.

“A cow body condition score of 5 at calving should be targeted to maximise milk production, and there are many feed options to achieve this,” says Mr Stafford.

“However, research by DairyNZ has shown that with the exception of high-energy concentrate supplementary feeds, there is little difference between autumn pasture and cereal silage, grain or PKE for increasing rate of gain in cow body condition score leading up to calving, especially when wastage of the later options is taken into account.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news