Projects

Grazing lucerne at Bonavaree

Grazing management of dryland lucerne in Marlborough

sheep grazing lucerne at BonavareeLucerne (Medicago sativa) has traditionally been grown for provision of supplements in winter. However the benefits of direct fed lucerne over traditional grass based pastures have been highlighted in two Sustainable Farming Fund projects. The first of these was in Marlborough and arose out of desperation after 6 years of below average rainfall in the 1990s. On the Avery property, Bonavaree, the lucerne grazing management system had significantly lifted read more…

Lucerne for Lambs

Grazing managment systems for ewes and lambs on lucerne in Central Otago

community group walk lucerne paddockThe Lucerne for Lambs project has provided a demonstration of different ways to use lucerne in sheep grazing systems. This project has been based in Central Otago and developed from the original Marlborough work at Bonvaree. The question raised was how do we make this work in Central Otago? How do we get better use of lucerne in this environment, and how big an impact if you change the whole farm system around? The concept doesn’t work in this area unless read more…

Lamb Alive

impact of a changing climate on lamb survival

The objectives of this project were to understand the risks associated with a changing climate to sheep farming in the lower South Island and, in particular, focussing on lambing and lamb survival. The project was stimulated after some severe weather events that occurred in the midst of lambing and severely impacted on farm productivity. The effect of lower lambing percentage in any year flows through to the industries that support farmers read more…

Winter feeding ewes

or four day shifts in winter

longer breaks for pregnant ewes in winterCan we make a difference to the incidence of vaginal prolapse in ewes (‘bearings’) by altering the early pregnancy managment of the ewe to maintain their body condition ie early pregnancy nutrition? Since 2005 groups of farmers in the lower South Island have been looking in to the relationship between pregnancy management of ewes and the occurrence of bearings. Over time this project has increasingly focussed on early pregnancy management of ewes and read more…