2021/2022 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 2021-22 season the stocking rate will be slightly lower on the future farm compared with the current farm at 3.4 vs 3.1 cows per hectare. On the Dairy Future farm we will continue to explore the effects of alternative pasture mixtures (diverse pastures), which make up 64% of the farm area, on performance and profit. Emerging science has shown plantain and Italian ryegrass to be effective in reducing nitrate leaching risk so mixtures with these species have been included. Additionally we have included diverse pastures with chicory as research carried out by our team has shown milk yield and quality benefits from feeding chicory.

From an animal perspective we will focus on both replacement heifers and our milking herd. 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 this will continue to be phased out of the future farm, last year we applied 80 kg N/ha and this year we will reduce our target to 60 kg N/ha.

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. A summary of these meetings is posted below in the 'Farm Walk' section.

2021/2022 Farmlet Parameters

Dairy Now

Farm Size 11.9 ha
Breed Holstein Friesian x Jersey
Cows 40
Stocking rate 3.36 cows/ha
Pastures Ryegrass with clover (RGWC)
N fertiliser Up to 190 kg N/ha p.a.
Imported feed <1 t DM/cow
Winter system Crop
On/Off platform Off farm

Young Stock
Heifer replacements Restricted milk (10%) pre weaning

Dairy Future

Farm Size 12.5 ha
Breed Holstein Friesian x Jersey
Cows 40
Stocking rate 3.2 cows/ha
Pastures 65% Diverse and
35% Ryegrass with clover (RGWC)
N fertiliser Up to 60 kg N/ha p.a.
Imported feed Minimal
Winter system Pasture
On/Off platform On platform

Young Stock
Heifer replacements High allocation (20%) milk pre weaning

Farm walk notes