Feed crop rotations for supporting a milking platform
Forage crops perform an important role in New Zealand farming systems. They provide large quantities of high quality forage when perennial pasture growth is low or of poor quality. The production advantages of forage crops over conventional pasture are varied and relate to the level of utilisable yield of the forage crop. These advantages include: renovation of pasture that is beyond improvement through grazing management (Hook, 1981), use as a break crop to assist weed and pest control, and to confine or reduce the level of overall farm winter pugging. This paper reviews the off-farm forage cropping opportunities available to dairy farmers. It assumes that the main livestock objectives are to grow young dairy stock at optimum rates, maintain or improve the condition of dry cows, or provide feed for longer term conservation. Forage crops can be broadly classified into the brassicas and greenfeeds. As brassica crops are covered in detail in another session of this conference, this paper only covers recent brassica research conducted at Lincoln University, particularly with regard to leaf turnips. More detailed coverage is given to the cereal and ryegrass greenfeeds, while the final section gives some suggested cropping sequences to incorporate the forage crops into an overall farming system.... [Show full abstract]
TypeConference Contribution - published (Conference Paper)
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