Modern pasture genetics delivering on farm

Modern pasture genetics delivering on farm

27 January 2020

When deciding on regrassing options this autumn the National Forage Variety Trial (NFVT) results, DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) and your local Farm Source TSR are all great sources of information.

For Te Awamutu farmers Friedemann and Miriam Deuschle the advice of local TSR Jarno Sammet has been key to achieving their farming goals.

Friedemann and Miriam Deuschle have been 50 / 50 share milking in Te Awamutu on a 165 hectare (ha) effective property with a 450 cow herd for the past five years.

During this time, they have developed an intensive regrassing program with the input of TSR Jarno Sammet. Following summer cropping, including Barkant turnips and Pallaton Raphno®, paddocks are planted in new proprietary varieties including Platform perennial ryegrass.

An on-farm policy of 300 days lactation is achieved through an early calving and milking into late May. To provide feed for this extended lactation period, the introduction of modern perennial ryegrass genetics with increased cool season activity has been critical to providing low-cost feed. Platform AR37 contains a combination of leading New Zealand and North-West Spanish genetics, resulting in both spring and cool season growth when it is needed most.

Following an intensive regrassing program the farm recorded a 25 percent lift in milk production. “We can only say it’s the grass we are grazing and with the dense fine tillering that Platform provides we think we have a winner” says Friedmann. “Jarno Sammet delivers best on farm practices and with his recommendation of Platform we have trust in his professionalism and now we leave the agronomy part of our business in his hands”.

Platform’s late heading date (12 days later than Nui) combined with a dense fine leaf structure and low aftermath seed head has also produced impressive feed quality results traditionally seen by tetraploid varieties. On farm Platform’s low aftermath seed head emergence assists with the maintenance of pasture quality and peak milk production through the late spring and summer months.

In independent NFVT results, Platform AR37 continues to perform and has a five-star status in the DairyNZ FVI for the upper North Island region. The DairyNZ FVI is an independent, regional specific, profit based index that allows farmers to make informed profitable decisions when choosing ryegrass cultivars. An online cultivar selector tool can be found on the DairyNZ website.

Another benefit of Platform is that it is inoculated with New Zealand’s market leading endophyte AR37 providing protection from major pasture pests including Black Beetle, Porina, Argentine Stem Weevil larvae, Root Aphid and Pasture Mealy Bug. This season initial quantities of Platform AR1 will also be available following harvest. AR1 endophyte is suitable southern regions with lower pest pressure.

For more information on how Platform perennial ryegrass could boost pasture production talk to your local Farm Source TSR this autumn.