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New manager to strengthen DairyNZ's Forage Value Index

New manager to strengthen DairyNZ's Forage Value Index

Thursday 9 April, 2015

The addition of persistence and metabolisable energy (ME) traits to the DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) are seen as key targets for Cameron Ludemann in his new role as Forage Value Manager.

Cameron, originally from a mixed farm in mid-Canterbury, joins DairyNZ having submitted his PhD thesis last year at the University of Melbourne.

In his thesis he assessed the value of changes in perennial ryegrass traits for Australian dairy farmers. The work was funded through the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre.

A major component of Cameron's thesis was the assessment of the value of improvements in the ME concentration trait in perennial ryegrass for Australian dairy farmers.

"I am very excited to get the chance to use the methods I developed during my PhD and apply them to the New Zealand dairy industry," says Cameron.

Although Cameron recently published a method of assessing the value of pasture persistence, he says that adding the persistence trait to the FVI, which currently only includes seasonal dry matter yield traits, will present a big challenge.

"How well pastures persist is a hot topic when I talk to dairy farmers, yet when I ask them what they mean by persistence you get many different answers. So we need to come up with a definition that is practical and measurable. We also need to overcome the challenge of finding early persistence indicators that predict how long a ryegrass cultivar might persist before needing renewal," says Cameron

Cameron will discuss the FVI at the DairyNZ Farm Open Day to be held on the 30 April at Scott farm in the Waikato, as well at the Lincoln University Research Dairy Farm on13 May (details available at

He also encourages farmers to view the latest FVI Lists at when making their cultivar selection decisions. The Lists now include a greater number of widely used cultivars.


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