Drainage has multiple benefits

The  benefits of farm drainage from a Massey University trial were summarised as:
  • 25% better utilisation in winter months
  • Annual Pasture Utilisation goes from 76% to 82%
  • Pasture growth increase by 30% from July to December
  • An extra 15% pasture growth per annum
  • Days that the soil is un-grazable due to pugging risk decreased from 69 days to 10 days.
  • Calving date can be brought forward or beef cattle purchased earlier in the Spring, beating the “grass” market
  • 200% more clover in drained plots
  • Re-grassing cycle is extended from 4 years to 6 years.
  • Better quality feed Average ME increases to 10.2MJME/kgDM

Mole and novaflo drainage does not come cheap. For flat land where pipes are 40-50m apart a cost of $3000-3500/ha can be expected. However taking the above benefits into account, those who have undertaken such investment rarely have any regrets

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About Robert Dabb

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