Integrating cows and crops
The benefits of integrating crops and cows are summed up in a new publication by the Foundation for Arable Research.
The three projects funded by the foundation, DairyNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries' Sustainable Farming Fund focus on getting the best out of a range of forage crops for dairy supply, both on and off the dairy platform, and on using crops on the dairy platform to manage the nutrients from cows and shed effluent.
The projects are:
- Cropping on the Waimate West demonstration farm. This compared the productivity of an all-pasture dairy system with a system combining a period of cropping with long-term pasture.
- Using maize to manage dairy shed effluent. This showed how the environmental risk of nitrogen leaching could be lessened.
- Maize silage: Other side of the coin. This looked at arable cropping sequences for dairy supply with the aim of getting the best dry matter production per hectare.
All growers will receive the publication in the mail in July. In the meantime, it can be viewed on-line.