GPS to track pasture and help NZ dairy farms

GPS to track pasture and help NZ dairy farms

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New Zealand: A postgraduate student in New Zealand successfully demonstrated how GPS could help farmers to rank their best and worst performing pastures. This information could enable farmers to schedue pasture renewal and fertilising programmes.

Jamie Haultain is a postgraduate student of DairyNZ – the organization representing New Zealand”s dairy farmers. He attached GPS units on collars of three cows in each of the herds he was studying on a farm near Hamilton. The GPS devices recorded the paddock grazed each day by the cows. Haultain downloaded the data daily for a year. He then compared the milk production and cow numbers that grazed the paddock. Using this information Haultai could tell which paddocks were entered each day. He could also tell the quantity of milk produced from those particular paddocks. The accuracy of the information was confirmed by pasture walks and plate metering. Seasonal variations were also taken into account. The farmers can now regularly measure the paddocks. Haultain presented the information at a recent DairyNZ farmers” forum in Invercargill. He plans to use GPS devices to find information on grazing preferences; virtual fencing; misplaced, missing or stray cows and calving problems.

Source: odt.co.nz