This trial at NARF compared a kikuyu based farmlet with a ryegrass farmlet for profitability under best practice. The kikuyu was mulched and undersown with Italian rye in autumn, effectively transitioning the pasture to ryegrass each spring. Supplements were fed in order to maximise profit on both farmlets.
Up to three applications of Gibberellic Acid (Gibb) on ryegrass plots in July to September gave good immediate pasture responses of 400 – 600 kgDM/ha. However most of this additional pasture was lost afterwards due to “post-Gibb depression.” Repeat applications of Gibb delayed this depression in pasture growth.
This 3 year trial at NARF compared all autumn calving with spring calving. The farm has very wet soils and was a real test for winter milking, but the trial showed that a high level of pasture management was more critical to the success of winter milking than soil type.