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Latest Dairy Sector Research Highlighted In Technical Series

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 at 2:05pm

Over the last few years DairyNZ has showcased the latest research projects that are helping to create a more productive and sustainable dairy sector.  Their Technical Series publication focuses on moving science from theory into action “giving farmers real tools to improve their businesses”.


We recommend signing up to the series, or taking a look on the website for a list of their publications and topics.  Some of the projects they have showcased this year which may be of value include:


Plant Breeding for the Future - New Zealand dairy farmers today are more productive than ever, thanks to the ongoing development of genetically superior plant species. But how does our rate of genetic gain stack up internationally and what challenges do we face in our efforts to breed better forages?


Choosing the best method of disbudding and pain prevention - It’s vital that farmers are doing everything possible to reduce the pain of disbudding and dehorning. Here we look at different methods of disbudding and pain prevention, and consider the risks and benefits.


Natural Seepage Wetlands: Can they reduce nitrogen losses? - They may be generally disliked by farmers and thought of as troublesome ‘bogs’, but seepage wetlands have proven highly effective at preventing contaminants from reaching waterways.


Caring for cows on stand-off pads - Although the New Zealand dairy industry is pasture-based, hybrid systems where cows spend part of the day off the paddock are becoming more common. Around 24% of dairy farmers now use covered or uncovered off-paddock areas, particularly in winter.


Winning against weeds and pests in first year pasture - To maximise return on pasture renewal, weeds and pests must be controlled, as both can seriously reduce pasture establishment, production and persistence. It’s worthwhile taking time to plan a pasture renewal process so the risk of weed invasion and pest damage are minimised.


Nitrogen fertiliser use - Nitrogen fertiliser is a handy strategic and tactical tool for increasing feed supply to match animal demand, yet it must be managed carefully to maximise dry matter production (response) while minimising potential losses.


Looking after your soil carbon - Carbon makes up about half the mass of soil organic matter and many soils in New Zealand can contain more than 100 tonnes of carbon per hectare in the top metre. Should we protect this organic matter, along with the carbon it holds, and do we know how?.


Making a success of full-season once-a-day milking - Milking is a time-consuming task, typically accounting for over half of labour hours used on New Zealand dairy farms. Reducing the number of milkings potentially decreases the number of hours worked, or allows that time to be used for other tasks.


Find the full list of technical series publications here -