2023/2024 Seasonal Strategy

The Dairy Now farm aims to reflect the best practice of current conventional farming, operating at a system 2-3 level with around 20% of animal intake being met by supplementation. The farm will apply up to the N cap of 190 kg N per hectare.

See the summary table for an overview of the two farms

During the 2023-24 season we will continue with the same Dairy Now system applied last year, but this season we are working with partners in the Low N farm systems research program to design a farm system with substantially lower N loss, whilst maintaining or improving profit and green house gases.  Pre-season modelling has forecast nitrate leaching reductions of over 50% by combining N loss mitigations in the Dairy Future farmlet compared with the Dairy Now farmlet.  We will be collecting a lot of measurements, including using suction cups in over 50% of the paddocks to measure nitrate leaching.  Links to published results will be made available on our Research Page.  

From an animal perspective we will continue to focus on welfare of both replacement heifers and our milking herds. Ongoing research in the Living Lab continues to investigate the impact of pre-weaning nutrition on life time productivity. There is growing need to reduce reliance on N fertiliser and we using research on N fertilisers to plan our fertiliser strategy going forward.   

Throughout the season the Living Lab team will meet regularly to track progress and present regular updates on the production and performance of the two farms. 

2023/2024 Farmlet Parameters

Dairy Now

Farm Size 12 ha
Breed Holstein Friesian x Jersey
Cows 40
Stocking rate 3.4 cows/ha
Pastures Perennial ryegrass and white clover 

N fertiliser Up to 190 kg N/ha p.a.
Imported feed Up to 1 t DM/cow/y
Winter system Kale crop + supplement
On/Off platform Support block 

Dairy Future

Farm Size 12 ha
Breed Holstein Friesian x Jersey
Cows 39
Stocking rate 3.2 cows/ha
Pastures Italian ryegrass, plantain and white clover
N fertiliser Up to 80 kg N/ha p.a.
Imported feed Up to 1  t DM/cow/y
Winter system Pasture and baleage
On/Off platform Support block

Farm walk notes

2023-24 season

Stay tuned for web link...