Dairy farming grazing management practices in the Waikato region
Report: TR 2011/17
Author: A Davies and K Topperwien
The purpose of this research is to understand the grazing management decisions of dairy farmers in the Waikato region, and relate that to nutrient management issues to give a picture of how nutrient management practices are, or could be, incorporated into
the various farm contexts. The focus of the research is on the winter practices that help or exacerbate nutrient management. A companion report focuses on beef and sheep farming.
In all, 36 farmers participated in the research through in-depth interviews. Interviews were undertaken in the main dairying areas of the region. A quarter of those interviewed ran grass-based production systems, while the remaining farmers imported varying amounts of feed ranging from 10-35 per cent. Herd sizes ranged from 70 to 3900 cows with a median of 470. Soils, climate, rainfall and topography varied, which lead to variation in grazing management practices.
This report presents the recommended nutrient management practices available to farmers and the actual grazing management practices of farmers from the interviews. Grazing rotation, fertiliser application, stocking rates, wintering off and standing off
practices, feed systems (including the use of grown supplements) are covered in the report.
|2.1||Nutrient management practices||5|
|5.1.1||Pasture rotation and grass residuals||13|
|5.2.1||Wintering on and off the farm||14|
|5.2.2||Wet soils management||17|
|5.3.2||Nutrient management plans||21|
|5.3.3||Fertiliser use and application||21|
|5.3.4||Effluent as part of the fertiliser regime||21|
|Appendix 1 - Waikato Regional Plan: Permitted Activity Rule 22.214.171.124 Discharge of farm animal effluent to land||38|
|Appendix 2 - Waikato Regional Plan: Permitted Activity Rule 126.96.36.199 Fertiliser application||40|