Four 6.4 ha farmlets each stocked with 24 high genetic merit Friesian cows were used to determine the effect of nitrogen fertiliser (N), and a long summer grazing rotation on pasture and milk production in summer. Treatments were 0 )-N) or 50 kg N/ha (+N) in December, January and March and a 16 day (16) or 40 day (40) rotation. Treatments started 15 December, following a two week uniformity period, and ran until 29 April. On the 16 and 40 day rotations N increased net herbage accumulation by 0.8 t DM/ha, and milksolids (MS) production by 92 and 38 kg/ha respectively. Across both nitrogen treatments, the 40 day rotation increased net herbage accumulation by 1.7 t DM/ha. The MS production was 39kg/ha greater on the -N40 than the -N16 treatment whereas that of the +N16 and +N40 did not differ significantly. The N and long rotation treatments also resulted in higher average herbage mass and cow condition at the end of the experimental period. It is concluded that N in early summer and a long summer rotation are useful management practices to reduce the effects of summer dry periods.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 55, , 21-22, 1995
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