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

 


Cow comfort key to stand-off pads

Cow comfort key to stand-off pads

Farmers considering investing in stand-off pads must make cow comfort their number one priority, according to new DairyNZ research.

Information from the three-year study into stand-off pads, a farm facility which helps farmers prevent pasture damage in wet weather, has been released in a new resource – Stand-off pads – your essential guide to planning, design and management.

DairyNZ farm systems specialist Chris Glassey says the research followed eight North Island farms with stand-off pads during the winter months of May until August. The Northland and Waikato farms were monitored for hours of pad use, pad stocking density, surface material deterioration and cow comfort.

“We used activity meters on cows on a stand-off pad in Northland and found that the cows’ comfort levels were well-maintained over the winter period. That’s the encouraging bit, the cows liked it,” says Chris.

“Their comfort was measured by time spent lying down. Cows need to lie down for at least eight hours a day and will spend time lying in the paddock, instead of grazing, if the stand-off pad isn’t comfortable and with enough space.

“The key to the Northland pad’s success was designing it correctly with appropriate drainage, then regularly topping up and replacing the surface material (woodchip) to create a surface the cows wanted to lie on.”

The new guidelines are designed to help farmers establish and run stand-off pads which keep cows comfortable, fit with the farm system and prevent pasture damage by cows.

“Most farmers are looking for the simplest, most established methods of minimising winter and summer pasture damage,” says Chris. “There are new practices and knowledge gained by farmers over the years, which we have learnt from and included in the new guide.”

Chris says the research showed after just one pugging event over winter, pasture production can be halved for up to seven weeks.

“Approximately 40 percent of the ground was bare after moderate treading in winter and pasture took two months to recover, during which time pasture growth fell by 600kg DM/ha,” says Chris.

“Through pasture reduction, pugging can have an impact on milk production.”

North Island farmers wintering herds on wetter soil types and upper North Island farmers using on-off grazing to protect summer pasture, are particularly likely to consider stand-off pads and will find the guide useful.

“Despite standing off being around for some time, larger herds now make it more complex, bringing increased costs. Containment of effluent and greater requirements to meet cow comfort levels are also more important.”

The updated guidelines, Stand-off pads – your essential guide to planning, design and management, are now available as a result of the research project by DairyNZ, MPI Sustainable Farming Fund, Northland Dairy Development Trust, AgResearch and dairy farmers.

To find out more or order a copy of the new guidelines, visit www.dairynz.co.nz/stand-off-pads.

-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news