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Best dairy pastures picked

Best dairy pastures picked

Winners of a competition to identify the Waikato and Bay of Plenty’s best new and renewed dairy pastures will host field days at their properties in late January.

Morrinsville farmer James Booker, and Robert Garshaw from Waiuku, are winners of the Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition run by the DairyNZ-led Pasture Renewal Leadership Group.

Robert Garshaw won best first year pasture, while James Booker won the best pasture of more than three years old.

This year entrants included a mix of dairy platforms, dairy support and grazier blocks from across the region and were of a high standard.

Dr David Hume, senior scientist at AgResearch said the success of the winning pastures was established by good grazing management, careful pre-sowing preparation and a correct choice of endophyte.

David says the judging panel were impressed with the high levels of white clover and low weed content in both of the winning paddocks, despite the impact of dry conditions in 2014.

Robert Garshaw regrassed with Bealey NEA2, Kotare and Tuscan Clover. The paddock was humped and hollowed the previous spring. The pasture had very high and even clover with a well-established proven tetraploid.

James Booker regrassed his winning paddock with One50 AR37 in March 2010. This perennial ryegrass and clover paddock has been a consistent performer – even as a heavily used paddock for pre-calving cows.

“Both farmers also faced challenges in wet winters but there was no evidence of pasture damage, highlighting their careful management”, says David.

Each winner receives $1500 of pasture renewal products, including Farmlands vouchers and seed from Agriseeds and Agricom.

As well as an overview of the winning paddocks, topics at the field days will include discussion about Forage Value Index, endophyte viability when sowing in dry conditions, and the value of pasture renewal. Speakers will be from DairyNZ, AgResearch and Industry.

Event details

Thursday, 29 January 2015 – Best first year pasture

Robert Garshaw

89 Neil Rd, Otaua SN70912

10.00am – 1.00pm

BBQ lunch will be provided

Friday, 30 January 2015 – Best pasture more than three years old

James Booker

399 Endowment Rd, Te Aroha/Morrinsville, SN 76208

10.00am – 1.00pm

BBQ lunch will be provided

ENDS

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