Martin stainesvasse open day talk 15sep2010 verion3

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Martin stainesvasse open day talk 15sep2010 verion3

  1. 1. Pasture Production for Dairy & Beef Findings from Greener Pastures Martin Staines & the Greener Pastures Team
  2. 2. What was Greener Pastures trying to achieve? For farmers • More profitable use of N to produce pasture and milk • Options to reduce N losses from pasture systems • Increased production through better management For the general community • Environmental policy based on hard data, not presumption • Confidence that industry is managing N responsibly
  3. 3. What did we do? • 2005-2009 for research/extension activities – 2010 for analysing & writing up • Research at Vasse Research Centre – GP-1: 5 N Response Farmlets, 2 Innovation Farmlets, component research – GP-2: 2 Farmlets • Research on 4 Commercial Partner Farms – Wide range fertiliser experiments – Partner farmers contributed critical thinking • Developed in close collaboration with industry • Input from Industry Steering Group
  4. 4. -1100 0 1100 2200 3300 0 2 4 6 8 10 53 WA dairy farms - Red Sky 07/08 & 08/09 Why do we care about pasture use? Operating Profit $/ha Pasture Utilisation t DM/ha
  5. 5. -1100 0 1100 2200 3300 0 2 4 6 8 10 53 WA dairy farms - Red Sky 07/08 & 08/09 Why do we care about pasture use? Operating Profit $/ha Pasture Utilisation t DM/ha On average, 1 tonne extra pasture used increased farm profit by $319
  6. 6. -1100 0 1100 2200 3300 0 2 4 6 8 10 53 WA dairy farms - Red Sky 07/08 & 08/09 Why do we care about pasture use? Operating Profit $/ha Pasture Utilisation t DM/ha On average, 1 tonne extra pasture used increased farm profit by $319 1 tonne extra over 200 ha = $64,000 extra profit
  7. 7. How to increase your pasture use • Grazing management, • Grazing management…. • & Grazing management!
  8. 8. How to increase your pasture use • Grazing management, • Grazing management…. • & Grazing management! • Soil pH 5.5 • Soil P, K and S adequate • Nitrogen fertiliser
  9. 9. Response to N fertiliser is limited by the cow 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 PastureusetDM/ha N fertiliser kg/ha/day WA 0708 RedSky GP '07 &'08
  10. 10. So what about grazing management?
  11. 11. N fertiliser drives pasture growth Right..? More N fertiliser INCREASES pasture growth rate
  12. 12. N fertiliser drives pasture growth Right..? More N fertiliser INCREASES pasture growth rate ?
  13. 13. No N +N N fertiliser (kg/ha) 0 50 Pasture growth rate (kg DM/ha/d) 40 55 Pasture just grazed (kg DM/ha) 1500 1500 Pasture at next grazing (kg DM/ha) 2500 2500 Days regrowth 25 18 Leaf stage 2.5 1.8 N fertiliser drives pasture growth Right..?
  14. 14. No N +N N fertiliser (kg/ha) 0 50 Pasture growth rate (kg DM/ha/d) 40 55 Pasture just grazed (kg DM/ha) 1500 1500 Pasture at next grazing (kg DM/ha) 2500 2500 Days regrowth 25 18 Leaf stage 2.5 1.8 N fertiliser drives pasture growth Right..? Extra N fertiliser = faster rotation speed???
  15. 15. No N +N N fertiliser (kg/ha) 0 50 Pasture growth rate (kg DM/ha/d) 40 55 Pasture just grazed (kg DM/ha) 1500 1500 Pasture at next grazing (kg DM/ha) 2500 2500 Days regrowth 25 18 Leaf stage 2.5 1.8 N fertiliser drives pasture growth Right..? Extra N fertiliser = faster rotation speed???
  16. 16. More N fertiliser INCREASES pasture growth rate Faster rotation speed REDUCES pasture growth rate N fertiliser drives pasture growth … but don’t sell yourself short!
  17. 17. Grazing management to get the most out of N fertiliser No N +N +N +management N fertiliser (kg/ha) 0 50 50 Pasture growth rate (kg DM/ha/d) 40 55 60 Pasture just grazed (kg DM/ha) 1500 1500 1500 Pasture at next grazing (kg DM/ha) 2500 2500 3000 Days regrowth 25 18 25 Leaf stage 2.5 1.8 2.5 Maintain your rotation speed at 2.5-3 leaves with N fertiliser
  18. 18. Greener Pastures II What we knew from pot & plot experiments • Grazing at 3 leaves achieves higher pasture growth than grazing at 2 leaves • Most profitable N fertiliser use will be achieved by grazing at 2½-3 leaves than 1½-2 leaves Would it work in the paddock?
  19. 19. Comparing 3-leaf with 2-leaf grazing 3-leaf v. 2-leaf Perennials 38 28 (34-49) (24-41) Annuals 36 30 (29-45) (23-37) ROTATION SPEED (d) • Farmlet study Mar’09 to Mar’10 • 45 cows per herd • Half irrigated, half dryland pasture
  20. 20. Pasture height & quality Mean pasture height (cm) 3-leaf v. 2-leaf Perennials 11 9 Annuals 13 10 Residuals maintained at 5 cm 3-leaf 2-leaf 3-leaf 2-leaf CP% 20 19 18 20 NDF% 52 51 51 52 ME 12.5 12.3 11.8 11.7 PerennialsAnnuals
  21. 21. Does grazing at 3 vs 2 leaves increase pasture use? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3-leaf 2-leaf Annuals (6 months) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 01Jun 01Jul 01Aug 01Sep 01Oct 01Nov 01Dec 3-leaf 2-leaf +20% +2% NO, but…YES! Perennials (10 months) Jun Aug Oct Dec JunApr Aug Oct Dec
  22. 22. What 20% more pasture use means 1 tonne extra over 200 ha = $64,000 extra profit
  23. 23. Key Messages • Pasture management still key to increased farm profit. Crucial to get the most from N fertiliser • Correct rotation speed is important – Annuals: 20% more pasture use at 3 v 2-leaf grazing – Perennials: no difference at Vasse • High fertiliser N doesn’t increase animal production • High fertiliser N & short rotations (<2L) bad for animal production, cow health & environment
  24. 24. Where to from here? • Economic analysis of all the data from Greener Pastures: from production to profit • Seasonal responses to N fertiliser Fine tuning of the 1 kg/ha/day guideline • Some long term fertiliser trials continue • Publication of all results • Consultation with industry to set the future priorities for 2012+

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