Sustainable farming fund project progress report

Sustainable farming fund project progress report

March 2014 to 30 June 2014

Farm system trial and plot trials at the Parekarangi monitor farm

Field trial sampling continued with interim results presented at the 6 May field day and summarised in an interim report prepared by AgResearch’s Mike Sprosen and Stewart Ledgard. One interesting result was the N leaching rates between the nil and standard N fertiliser treatments, with low and similar N losses in 2012 when treatments had just commenced and it was still in a lead-in period, contrasting with significantly higher N leaching loss (17 vs 75 kg N/ha/yr for nil-N and regular-N, respectively) in 2013. The later large difference was statistically significant. It is being followed up by measurements in 2014.

Farm field day 6 May

Our third Parekarangi field day on 6th May was attended by about 55 farmers and rural professionals. The event had a dual focus on mitigating nitrogen and phosphorus losses. It included contributions from three farmers on their actions in reducing sediment and phosphorus loss from their farms.

Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre paper submitted

Following on from our presentation “Nitrogen losses from Lake Rotorua dairy farms – modelling, measuring and engagement” to FLRC in February, we submitted a project paper in late March. That paper is available here.

Broader initiatives leveraging off SFF 11-023

Members of the SFF project team have supported the Lake Rotorua Stakeholder Advisory Group (StAG). The dual Overseer and Farmax scenario modelling developed during the SFF project was applied to BOPRC’s draft NDA (nitrogen discharge allowance) values of 35 kgN/ha/yr for dairy farms and 13 kgN/ha/yr for drystock farms. Perrin Ag staff presented to both the Collective AGM (20 May) and StAG (22 May) with feedback from farmers and others incorporated into a final report available on the Rotorua Lakes website.