“Pasture Wedge Graph Concept” was developed back at Matamata in 1976 with NZ Dairy Board Discussion Groups & the clever mathematics worked out at Lincoln University Dairy Farm decades later. Drs C. P. McMeekan (From Grass to Milk), John Hutton, Arnold Bryant & Des Clayton from Ruakura would be equally shocked to see the state of today’s pasture management skills, as would Dr Ray Brougham (ex Director of Grasslands) & Dr Colin Holmes (ex Massey University). These gentlemen were the “Research Pioneers” who built NZ’s reputation as global best practice in dairying pasture management. People like Mac McKenzie & Don Johnson demanded of the Consulting Officer team that the extension focus of every Discussion Group was efficient pasture utilization, low costs & farm profit.
I think “Global Best Practice Dairy farm Pasture Management” now belongs to the low input pasture based dairy farmers in the UK & Ireland. The world’s best pastures are to be found either in the UK or France NOT New Zealand. In more difficult climates the dairy farmers in Victoria Australia are outstanding.
So why are the Discussion Group farmers in the UK & Ireland now world leaders in pasture management? Firstly the vast majority measure pasture every week & the data is recorded in Pasture Wedge Graph programs, many of which now are “internet cloud” based, so groups can share the information & gain extra efficiencies. Group members wouldn’t dare attend group days without pasture measurement data including growth rates, daily demand & of course their pasture wedge graphs. Farmers take enormous pride in their pastures & the care of those ryegrass/white clover pastures. Many organic dairy farmers lead the way in understanding why soils & soil organic matter in particular is so important to good pasture management. Many farms are under environmental restrictions (read enforced lower stocking rates) yet still produce outstanding pasture. Most would fully understand Danny Donaghy’s “Three Leaf System” of Ryegrass grazing & how this changes throughout the year. Many would monitor soil temperatures during the year to better understand leaf appearance rates & how it is changing. Danny has recently arrived at Massey University & is now Professor of Dairy Science.
Alastair & Sharon Rayne, Leonie Guiney (nee Foster), Lynaire Ryan, John Simmonds, Mark Blackwell, Carol Doak (nee Gibson), Paul Bird & more recently Adrian van Bysterveldt have had a massive impact.
Crucial to their success has been a strong network of Discussion Groups & vigorous "Championing of low input farming" leadership & focus on grazing management. http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark/Publications/pdfs/Open%20Day%20Moorepark%202009%20Grazing%20Manual.pdf
In Ireland there has been a real effort by researchers, extension staff & consultants to get as many farmers measuring & monitoring pastures weekly. This is supported now by internet cloud providers like “AgriNet” http://www.agrinet.ie/ which has excellent pasture wedge graph capability. Strong consultancy groups like the Grazing Musketeers are pushing on with Discussion Groups & honing the pasture management skills in both Ireland & the UK. http://www.grasstec.ie/sub.php?page=10&panel=3
3 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know - The lesson that every new business owner must learn is when to say "no". Here are some guideposts. The post 3 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know appe...
56 minutes ago