OLW_RPF31_dairy-and-forestry_FinalReport_13July2021.docx.pdf (2.33 MB)

Creating a diverse and sustainable dairy farming and forestry landscape

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posted on 2024-06-21, 03:57 authored by Regan McCorquindale, Graham Smith, Gina Lucci
Analysis of the results and discussion indicates that our hypothesis did not eventuate. There was not the increase in pasture production in the 'shade' environment as anticipated which was has answered some of our perceptions, but it has also created more questions. If the population of trees grown in this pilot trial are too dense, then where is the equilibrium that still allows trees to be grown in productive pastoral landscapes but does not compromise on pasture production to the same extent? The animal behaviour division of the trial provides some gains from a welfare point of view, an increase in rumination in the 'shade' environment being the greatest factor. This was an outlier of a year with the weather experienced. This is the greatest contributor to this trial in either succeeding with our set out hypothesis or, suggesting we as an industry do not need to grow any more trees on farms. If a trial like were to be conducted at an annual and more scalable approach, the following would need to be taken into consideration. - Less trees per hectare for the 'shade' paddock - The 'no shade' paddock must be exactly that - Pasture samples need to be collected at each grazing throughout the year, at the minimum - Milk production data per mob is sampled Finding the optimal amount of stems per hectare that aligns with offering shade to the cows and the hypothesized increase in pasture production through dryer summers must be evaluated to further influence the uptake of trees on farms in the New Zealand pastoral landscapes.


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 2020–21


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