Kikuyu blamed for dairy droop

By Mike Barrington

Northland farms had the second-lowest milksolids production per effective hectare in the country during last year's dairy season, which was the most productive on record thanks to favourable pasture growth conditions.

New Zealand's milk production leaped 11.3 per cent, according to the 2011-12 New Zealand Dairy Statistics released last week by LIC and DairyNZ.

Average production from each of the country's 4.63 million dairy cows reached a new record of 364kg of milksolids, and more cows being milked resulted in dairy companies processing 19.1billion litres of milk containing 1.69 billion kilograms of milksolids in the year ending May 31. National milk production per hectare of 1028kg surpassed the 1000kg mark for the first time.

The 279,429 cows in the 933 Northland dairy herds each produced an average 94,296kgMS or a total of 87.9million kilograms of milksolids, averaging 713kgMS per effective hectare or 315kgMS per cow. Only East Coast herds had lower average production.

Farmers of New Zealand operations director Bill Guest blamed Northland's low milksolids score on the region's kikuyu grasses.

He predicted new ryegrasses would lift Northland production.


- Northern Advocate

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