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Southland Demo Farm (SDF)

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VISION STATEMENT

Providing economic, social and environmentally sustainable solutions for the Southern South Island dairy farming community.

INTRODUCTION

The 295 hectare property at 105 Wallacetown-Riverton Highway, was leased by Southland Demonstration Farm Limited, controlled by the Southland Demonstration Dairy Farm Trust, on 1st June 2007, to operate as a commercial demonstration farm. The farm provides a focal point for the dissemination of information to Southern South Island dairy farmers.

The milking platform is approximately 260 ha with a further 32 ha [approximately] per year of brassicas and fodder beet for winter feed. The farm milks 790-800 cows and supplies Fonterra’s Edendale Factory targeting annual production of 340,000 kg/MS (1150 kgMS per total ha / 1300kgMS/ha off the milking platform).

KEY OBJECTIVES 
  • Economic sustainability [profit] of Southern South Island dairying.
  • Environmental sustainability [land, water, animals] of Southern South Island dairying.
  • Social sustainability [labour] of Southern South Island Dairying.
  • To provide a central focal point for the dissemination of information to assist farmers to meet the challenges going into the future.
Climate

 

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Annual

Mean Annual Maximum Temperature (ºC)

14

18

15

10

14

Mean Annual Minimum Temperature (ºC)

5

9

5

1

5

Mean daily temperature (ºC)

10

13

10

5

10

SOILS
Soil Types                                                                                       % Farm
Makarewa - Heavy poorly drained gley soil                                      42%
Makarewa moderately deep                                                            8%
Mataura - Recent flood plain soil, Silty - Well drained                       19%
Tomoporakau - Poorly drained silt loam prone to water logging          16.5% 
Northope - Imperfectly drained silt loam, variations in topsoil            13%
Edendale - Deep well drained Soil, Silt Loam                                   1%
Gore – well drained alluvium base, Silt Loam topsoil                        0.5%
Soil test AVERAGE Results
Date
pH
OlsenP
K
Sulphate Sulphur
Mg
Ca
Na
Organic S
TBK
2007/08 Average
6.1
29.8
7.4
7.5
10.7
23.2
12.7
6.5
1.8

2008/09 Effluent

2008/09 Non Effluent

6.3

6.0

28.5

34.1

9.0

6.9

5.5

9.9

31.0

22.0

14.5

11.3

18.5

13.7

 

5.2

3.6

2009/10 Effluent

2009/10 Non Effluent

6.0

5.9

35.5

34.6

10.0

5.8

8.5

9.6

36.0

22.1

14.5

11.1

16.5

9.9

 
3.6

2010/11 Effluent

2010/11 Non Effluent

5.9

5.9

35.0

34.4

7.0

5.7

8.3

8.9

27.8

20.2

12.

39.0

14.

58.3

   

2011/12 Effluent

2011/12 Non Effluent

6.3

6

33

31.8

8

7.9

10

8.8

34

23

14

10.8

20

11.7

12

8.5

 
Recent Fertiliser Applications

2008/09

N

P

K

S

Lime

Non Effluent

180+

41

20

50

250kg/ha

Effluent

100

27

0

32

250kg/ha

           

2009/10

N

P

K

S

Lime

Non Effluent

170

38

40

35

400kg/ha

Effluent

120

18

0

22

400kg/ha

           

2010/11

N

P

K

S

Lime

Non Effluent

180+

41

40

48

400kg/ha

Effluent

100+

18

0

22

400kg/ha

New Grass Paddocks

197

64

40

77

400kg/ha

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011/12

N

P

K

S

Lime

Capital P Areas

Average 250 KgsN/ha across whole farm area including winter crops.

 

90

40

121

400kg/ha

No P Areas

4

0

121

400kg/ha

Rest of Non Effluent

42

41

51

400kg/ha

Effluent

22

0

27

400kg/ha

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012/13

N

P

K

S

Lime

Whole farm average

213kgN/ha

36

17

45

225kg/ha

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013/14

N

P

K

S

Lime

Whole farm average

245kgN/ha

59

30

75

400kg/ha

 

PASTURES / PASTURE RENEWAL

Pastures are progressively being renewed each year through a renewal programme that incorporates both winter crops such as swedes, kale and fodder beet and short term ryegrasses prior to new permanent pasture being sown.  Half of the winter-crop area is returned to new pasture each year and the other half cropped for a second season.  The farm has re-grassed approximately 1/3 of the property in the past 4 seasons. Each new pasture is a perennial ryegrass/white clover combination, with strategic placement of particular cultivars across the farm differing in ploidy (diploid/tetraploid), flowering date and more recently different novel endophytes.  A small area of the farm was sown directly in short term ryegrass without clover to increase the amount of re-grassing on the farm and address some of the weed issues on farm. The ryegrass acts as a forage crop in its own right, this will be wintered cropped and returned to permanent ryegrass / white clover. Permanent pastures are sown at 20kg/ha diploid ryegrass and 25kg/ha tetraploid ryegrass with 6kg/ha white clover.

STAFFING & MANAGEMENT

SDF has a part time Business Manager (30 hours/week), full time farm manager, 2IC and two farm assistants. Additional relief staff employed as required to assist with calf rearing and relief milking.

The normal roster is 8 on / 2 off till Christmas, 9 on / 3 off after Christmas

Milking Times     –    Morning: cups on 5.00 am      Afternoon: cups on 2.30 pm

HERD DETAILS AND MATING PROGRAMME - Click Here

PRODUCTION DETAILS / FINANCIAL RESULTS - Click Here

Soil moisture levels in Southland - Guidelines for farm dairy effluent irrigation.