Five farmlets were established to investigate the profitability of using nitrogen fertiliser (N) to increase pasture supply and milksolids production. Farmlets were stocked with 3.34 (low) or 4.42 (high) Friesian cows/ha and received 0, 200 or 400 kg N/ha/year. Total annual pasture production was increased by 1.76 and 0.97 t DM/ha when 200 kg N/ha was applied and by 3.2 and 3.6 t DM/ha using 400 kg N/ha at the low and high stocking rate, respectively. Annual milksolids production increased by 142 and 218 kg MS/ha after the application of 200 and 400 kg N/ha, respectively. Increasing stocking rate from 3.34 to 4.42 cows/ha reduced milksolids production by 99 kg MS/cow. Applying 200 kg N/ha at the lower stocking rate increased economic farm surplus by $148/ha. Increasing stocking rate reduced total milksolids production and profitability at both rates of N.

JM, McGrath, JW Penno, KA MacDonald, and WA Carter

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 58, , 117-120, 1998
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