The milking platform was sown at conversion (March 2001) in a mix of 50/50 Bronsyn/Impact ryegrasses with Aran and Sustain while clovers, and 1 kg/ha of Timothy.
Since the conversion, roughly 10% of the farm is regrassed each year, with tetraploids, chicory and plantain being used as well.
Tetraploid/diploid perennial ryegrass mixes, have a significant advantage for this system, as they maintain high cow intakes at higher covers. Whereas cows may struggle to graze a straight diploid ryegrass >3100 well, a tetraploid/diploid mix will typically still be well grazed at 3400 kgDM/ha.
Chicory is a summer active herb that provides high yields of palatable feed from spring through to autumn and has deep taproot which supports growth through dry conditions.
Plantain also grows well in the summer as it has a high tolerance to summer heat but it is also sown for environmental reasons. Research has found that urine N concentration of cows grazing plantain was 56% lower than those grazing perennial ryegrass/white clover pastures, and 33% lower for cows grazing 50/50 pasture-plantain.
|Paddock||Period Regrassed||Grass Cultivar||Paddock||Period Regrassed||Grass Cultivar|
|N3||Jan-20||Trojan, Viscount, Kotuku, Weka||S3||Feb-10||Bealey/Arrow|
|N6||Apr-14/Sept-16||Shogun (spray/drill)||S6||Jan-20||Shog/Chi/Plant (Spray/drill)|
|N10||Jan-12||Tetraploids FVI Trial||S10||Nov-14||Shogan/Chicory/Plantain|
|N11||Nov-07||Bealey||All paddocks also sown with clover|
We sample the paddocks immediately in front of the milkers, to height of 3.5cm (7 clicks on the rising plate meter) and have collated this information for you from the 2001 / 2003 season through to the current season.