Auteur: Pinxterhuis J.B., Beare M.H., Edwards G.R., Collins R.P., Dillon P. and Oenema J.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
European and New Zealand dairy farmers pursue high productivity, while meeting the requirements of environmental legislation. Due to market constraints, New Zealand dairy farming has traditionally relied on low-input grazed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) – white clover (Trifolium repens L.) pastures and on grazed forage crops in seasons with low pasture production. However, in the past three decades the use of synthetic nitrogen (N) increased, allowing higher stocking rates and more milk production per hectare, but increasing N surplus per hectare and therefore potential N loss to the environment. The use of supplements has also increased, with an increasing number of farmers investing in infrastructure to feed cows off-pasture during the winter. This is seen to benefit the animal as well as the environment because supplements provide the opportunity to reduce surplus N intake, and collected urine and faeces can be applied efficiently on pastures or crops. In Europe, indoor systems, use of supplements and efficient manure application methods are common. There is interest in improving production and utilisation of home-grown pastures and crops to reduce costs and overall environmental footprint. This is where the challenge for European and New Zealand dairy systems meet: there is a common need to examine how crops and forages can be used to improve N efficiency in the soil-plant-dairy cow system. Combining best practices and recent advances in European and New Zealand research provides scope for cost- and nutrient-efficient and highly productive dairy farm systems.