Challenge #4

The biggest problem in pasture based animal farming (PBAF) is pasture utilisation, how can pasture utilisation be optimised? 

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Context/Background

In New Zealand and Australia, the main source of feed for dairy and beef cows is pasture. There are a number of benefits to PBAF that are well recognised.  Grass-fed meat and dairy products are increasing in popularity in a number of different international markets where these are seen as healthier and higher-value products than the non-pasture based alternatives.

Despite its benefits, pasture-based farming systems provide a number of challenges. Farmers have to operate in an ever tightening environmental envelope (think nitrate leaching, methane emissions, carbon footprint, etc) and are under more and more societal pressure to improve animal welfare.

In addition to the above, farmers continually strive towards delivering more high-value quality products with ever increasing efficiency.

Detailed Challenge Description

Gallagher would like to encourage the participants to:

  • Consider common aspects while planning pasture allocation e.g. average pasture cover, pre-graze pasture cover and grazing residuals, etc.

  • Think of an interactive solution to assist farmers to strategically plan their feed wedge to optimise pasture utilisation.

The desired result could be a software application to assist the farmers plan feed wedge and make recommendations to farmers accounting pasture growth rate, pre-graze pasture cover and grazing residuals.

Research/Resources

https://www.agriseeds.co.nz/sheep-beef-deer/pasture-management/maximising-pasture-utilisation 
https://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/pasture-management/assessing-and-allocating-pasture/pasture-allocation/ 

https://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/pasture-management/feed-wedges-and-rotation-planners/feed-wedges/

This challenge has been submitted by:

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