High-yielding system despite lack of rain

By Dairy News

Paul Price has been dairy farming in Northern Victoria for over 15 years.

Since kick-starting his dairy operation in 2002, prior to the drought, Mr Price has been busy crafting and refining his operation, and despite the lack of rain, he has established a high-yielding grass based pasture feed system.

This season, Mr Price has introduced Pasture Genetics’ 24Seven Diploid Perennial Rye-grass and has been pleased with the levels of establishment and production thus far.

He has noticed the prolific tiller density that 24Seven exhibits.

Mr Price has also grown Pasture Genetics’ Ansa Diploid Perennial Rye-grass on his property for many years.

“We generally get three to four years from our perennial rye-grasses, before we have to oversow it, to thicken it up. You just have to manage it right, and not hammer it too hard,” Mr Price said.

Maintaining a purely perennial rye-grass system requires great pasture management. Mr Price uses tools such as moisture monitors to assist him with his irrigation schedule.

The farm currently uses 9.5 megalitres of irrigation per hectare, per year, and is returning yields of around 13 tonnes of dry matter per hectare, per year. Mr Price is hoping to further improve his practices, striving to achieve a yield return of 15 tonnes of dry matter per hectare, per year.

Having upgraded his property by way of installing a comprehensive irrigation system that includes; fully-automated fast flow bay outlets, a complete farm irrigation recycle system and moisture monitoring technology, Paul has been able to save significantly on water due to increased efficiency.

“I really push my system, I have 70 hectares of irrigated pasture and I’m currently running a stocking rate of 4.5 cows per hectare,” he said.

Mr Price runs one herd and calves down in September, however, he milks all year round with carry over stock. This works to the advantage of perennial rye-grass, as it is given a rest over the winter period when demand for feed slows.

Mr Price’s rotation of 24Seven Diploid Perennial Rye-grass and Ansa Diploid Perennial Rye-grass is typically 90 days through winter, shortening up through Spring and Summer to 22 days.

24Seven Diploid Perennial Rye-grass and Ansa Diploid Perennial Rye-grass are providing him with the production and persistence required in his successful dairy operation.