Should dairy farmers invest in pasture renewal this year? Yes!

Pasture renewal is still one of the best investments you can make in your farm business. Pasture remains the cornerstone of feeding cows in the New Zealand dairy Industry, and the amount of ‘pasture eaten/ha’ is widely acknowledged as a key profit indicator. With the lower payout, what does that mean in terms of return on investment in pasture renewal?


Example: 3 things you could do with $1000

  1. Do nothing; save the $1000.
  2. Spend $1000 on sowing 1ha of new perennial pasture.
  3. Spend $1000 on 3.5 t of PKE.




Take home messages

Do nothing

Good cost control is very important, but doing nothing is not the best option.


Renew pasture

If done right, this can be highly profitable if well done, as shown in the table. To succeed, you need to identify poor paddocks, rectify reasons for underperformance, and undertake a good renewal programme to capture all the potential benefits. Don’t cut corners.


Feed supplements

At the current MS price, feeding supplements simply to increase production is difficult to justify.  However, they still can play an important short-term role in compensating for pasture deficits.