Drought damage over the last year will be shown during field day events, taking place on four south island west coast farms.
Dr Dawn Dailey, a senior Dairy New Zealand scientist will analyse the business performance of the individual holdings, exploring the effects of irrigation on pasture performance.
The holdings are part of the West Coast Monitor Farm Project near Greymouth, Westport, Ikamatua and Kowhitirangi.
“We will be looking at trends and comparing seasons from when the project started in 2008,” said Mr Dailey. “The monitor farm property at Ikamatua has completed its second season of irrigation, with just under 30 per cent of the property under pivot irrigation.”
“At the field day we will present a cost-benefit analysis on the value of irrigation and compare the performance of different paddocks under irrigation and without.”
Overall farm profitability will also be discussed.
Mr Dailey added: “Farm information has been entered into DairyBase for the last four seasons, which gives us a good opportunity to look at the performance of the farms over time. For example, if farm working expenses have gone up, has that resulted in more production and therefore increased profit?”
The project is a good source of relevant information for local farmers who can access a range of data, commented DairyNZ consulting officer for Westland Ross Bishop.
“The project is valuable to farmers who may not take their own measurements. They can use the information from the monitor farm nearest them to help make management decisions,” said Mr Bishop.
“The large variation in growth rates recorded on the monitor farms confirm it is important that different regions, with differing microclimates, are represented.”
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/what-impact-has-drought-had-on-new-zealand)