DTT Waimate West

The trial will run 2 autumn calving herds. 1 with cropping and self contained and 1 herd with supplementary feed purchased of farm.

Farm Data

  • 34 effective ha.
  • 40 x 0.86 ha paddocks
  • North of Manaia
  • 1140 mm rainfall
  • 90masl


Similar to WTARS Kavanagh re autumn calving. The Waimate West Demonstration farm has conducted extensive cropping programs over the past 6 seasons with spring calving Jersey cows. The aim has been to demonstrate the ability to eliminate reliance on imported feed and grow all supplements on farm. Production advantage to the cropping farmlet has been around 300 kg MS/ha with profitability being payout dependent. The current demonstration is with 1 herd and cropping of maize silage and chicory but has no control comparison.

Trial Design

2 split herds of 62 Jersey cows with 17.2 ha/farmlet stocked at 3.6 cows/ha. All cows autumn calving with proposed date 20 March. Herd 1 with maize silage and fodder beet grown on farm. Herd 2 maize silage and PKE purchased. The first year would be a transition year with cows not mated in spring but mated the following winter (10 June) and dried off after 18 months of lactation, to start calving autumn 2019.


  • Milk production from 4 weekly herd tests + vat measurements. Milk can be stored and collected from 2 separate vats & 2 supply numbers via Fonterra.
  • Pasture growth from calibrated weekly visual estimation of all paddocks (2 weekly in winter)
  • Pre and post herbage mass measurements and estimated cow intakes
  • Supplements harvested and fed, supplements purchased (amount and cost)
  • Crop yields and cost
  • 4 weekly cow Liveweight and condition score
  • All animal health and cow fertility events
  • Full financial analysis of both systems

Companion Farms

Proposal is to have 2-3 companion farms running similar systems with DairyBase analysis, and crop measurements.

Get the research that local dairy farmers want

Sign up to receive weekly farm walk notes