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Beef production: potential and output in mid-Canterbury

Walker, S. D.
Lobb, W. R.
Conference Contribution - published
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::070202 Animal Growth and Development , ANZSRC::070101 Agricultural Land Management
Climate and pasture production in mid-Canterbury have been discussed by Rickard (1968). Under “dryland” farming conditions, pasture of some 110 to 130 aBys when production is very low reduction is-limited by (1) winters and (2) dry periods of variable incidence and duration during the remainder of the year. These latter not only restrict output every year but also result in a large “between years ’ variation in annual pasture production. However, adequate irrigation eliminates the dry periods and results in pasture production characterized by : (1) A higher annual production of some 9,000 to 10,000 lb D.M. per acre. (2) A very low variability between years. (3) Well-spread production within the growing season. (4) Approximately half of total growth occurring after January 1. For the livestock farmer, the implications of these changes are very great. The pattern of irrigated pasture reduction was shown to coincide more closely with the feed requirements of a beef-breeding herd than with those of a prime-lamb ewe flock. However, as more calves become available from increased cow herds in the foothills and high country, and these are augmented by calves bred on dairy farms, it seems probable that beef production on the easier country will become concentrated on finishing, rather than on breeding. This paper outlines experimental work into finishing beef cattle at Winchmore Irrigation Research Station and considers the potential for beef production in mid-Canterbury in the light of the results obtained.
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Copyright © The Authors and New Zealand Grassland Association.
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