WestCoast-Better-Wintering_Report_OLW-RPF23.pdf (1.03 MB)

Better Wintering - West Coast

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posted on 2024-06-21, 03:56 authored by Laura Bunning, Andrew Curtis
The West Coast wintering project's goal was to provide West Coast farmers with specific information on the range of applicable wintering system options alongside considerations for the application of these. There has been no previous winter grazing research conducted specifically for the benefit of West Coast farmers. The project report and summary provide West Coast farmers with a winter grazing options analysis that is specific to their situation. This will support farmers in improving their environmental and animal welfare practices, allowing them to make informed decisions and develop more resilient farm systems. It will also support West Coast farmer discussions with their consultants, many of whom are from outside the region and not fully aware of its unique challenges. The project's impacts could include improved water quality, improved soil structure leading to reduced impacts on pasture production, and improved consideration of animal welfare. The project involved an initial literature review followed by a series of interviews with West Coast farmers, alongside two farmer workshops. Questions were asked about each farmer's motivation and reasoning behind their current wintering system, the options they considered, and any limitations or additional benefits they have identified since implementing their winter system. Two West Coast dairy farms, one a system 2 and the other a system 4, were used to model a range of different wintering options through Farmax and Overseer. This allowed the economic and 4 environmental implications of the different options to be better understood. Both case study farms have a long history of benchmarking data including financial and physical information.


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Rural Professionals Fund 2022–23


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