Kikuyu under the spotlight
In a year when every feed budget dollar saved is a good one, Western Dairy is seeking expressions of interest from farmers who currently grow kikuyu under irrigation and are prepared to have some interrogation of what could be done better on their system.
“Our work last year as part of the Smarter Irrigation for Profit project showed us there were opportunities to lift the performance of kikuyu through a better understanding of best management practices,” said Western Dairy Research Scientist Peter Hutton.
“Last summer our trials showed that in spite of the low yields, the kikuyu pasture was of good quality with high crude protein, and was cheaper than purchased feeds. We know that if it is well managed and grazed it can be cost-effective.
“We are keen to test that across several sites, so we can assess the impact of both Harvey and Wellington dam water and strategies for both Pivot and Surface.
“Our intention is to monitor quality and quantity of kikuyu under various management practices, although we will assume as a base line that best-practice soil moisture monitoring and irrigation scheduling will be a given.”
Farmers interested in being part of the trial should contact Peter Hutton on: Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org.