The property is perfectly suited for farmlet comparisons with 72 x 1 ha paddocks and infrastructure to support multiple herds.The trial will investigate the profitability of using palm kernel expeller (PKE) and locally grown Maize grain and barley vs a traditional all grass farmlet.
The traditional all grass system has lost favour in the past 15 – 20 years due to variable climatic events resulting in short lactations and underfeeding of cows at times. PKE feeding has become widespread on dairy farms in New Zealand as a cheap and reliable feed source. Imports of PKE have increased from 96,000 megatons (MT = 1 million kg) in 2003 to 2,500,000 MT in 2016 (equivalent to 500 kg/cow of cows milked in 2016). There is concern regarding the effect of PKE on milk quality and the environmental impact the Palm oil industry is having in Thailand and Malaysia. Locally grown maize grain and barley are perceived as reliable sources of imported feed, that could replace or compliment PKE.