PASTORAL 21 - Dairy NZ

Pastoral 21 Next Generation Dairy Systems was a collaborative five-year farm programme that aimed to provide proven, profitable, simple, adoption-ready systems that lifted production and reduced nutrient loss.

Alongside the research, the project captured farmer experience through the use of P21 Focus Farms and case studies.

P21 research programme

Farmlets were set up in four regions (Southland, Canterbury, Manawatu and Waikato) with the aim to address issues relevant to each region, the farmlets:

Aimed to reduce nutrient loss by:

  • Reducing Nitrogen (N) inputs (N fertiliser and supplements)
  • Capturing urine (N) in late summer-winter
  • Protecting wet soils in autumn and spring to decrease sediment and phosphorus runoff.

Maintained milk production with fewer inputs through:

  • Achieving more production per kg of liveweight
    • More milk per cow per day
    • More days in milk
  • Applying well-known principles of pasture management and grazing
  • Using N fertiliser to fill deficits, not boost surpluses
  • On wet soils, using standoff to protect paddocks and grow more pasture.

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