University farm out to cut nitrogen loss

Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) will review the recently completed season while seeking to improve its environmental footprint, at its winter focus days over the next few weeks. 

From next season, the farm planned to lower its nitrogen loss level, South Island Dairying Development Centre executive director Ron Pellow announced at the farm's autumn focus day last month.

''The proposed Environment Canterbury land and water regional plan variation one will require LUDF to operate at or below a specific nitrogen loss to water target from 2017 and potentially at a lower nitrogen loss level from 2022 onwards.

''As a demonstration farm, LUDF has determined it will seek to operate from now on at lower nitrogen loss than previously, to document how the farm can respond to these requirements, and the implications, costs and opportunities that may arise from this.''

Mr Pellow said LUDF was considering the effect of its operation as a whole on the catchment, including the nitrogen losses produced by cows while wintering away from the milking platform.

He hoped other farmers operating as milking platforms only, would benefit from LUDF's example.

''Understanding the implications of reducing nitrogen losses on land that supports wintering, replacements and supplement supplies is essential.

''Overlooking these changes increases the risk of reduced supply and/or higher cost for support land requirements.''


Wintering for success field days

In lieu of its regular winter focus day, the Lincoln University Dairy Farm will join with DairyNZ in hosting a series of ''wintering for success'' field days. A barbecue lunch will be held on arrival.

Culverden - June 27, 12-3pm, Balnadreich Farm, 758 Long Plantation Rd.

Oxford - July 2, 12-3pm, Cameron Henderson's property, 456 Burnt Hill Rd.

Mid-Canterbury - July 3, 12-3pm, John and Rachel Jefferson, 569 Maronan Ealing Rd, Ealing.

South Canterbury - July 9, 12-3pm, Brendan and Katya Caird, 60 Georgetown Rd, Temuka.

North Otago - July 8, 12-3pm, Jared and Susan Ross, Strachans Rd, Duntroon.