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

 

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Boards Of Inquiry For Auckland Roading Projects

Boards of Inquiry have been appointed to decide on two significant Auckland roading projects in a move which will get a decision by the end of the year, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news