Establishing a demonstration dairy farm in Pennsylvania

As a member of Agritech New Zealand, Dairy Projects International has been working with the Lessee of Cove Mountain Farm owned by American Farmland Trust, to establish a demonstration dairy farm in Pennsylvania. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate the productivity and profitability of pastoral dairy farming systems in this region.

Several Agritech New Zealand companies are working together with Cove Mountain Farm and Dairy Projects International to establish a pastoral dairy farm utilising New Zealand products. Companies include:

  • Wrightson Ltd (pasture & seed)
  • McInnes Manufacturing Ltd (calf rearing systems)
  • FIL (dairy hygiene)
  • Hansen Products (water reticulation fittings)
  • Jobe Valves (water trough valves)
  • Reese Agri (hay, silage, seed drills)
  • Agricom (pasture seeds)
  • TruTest (electric fence system, scales, pasture measurement)
  • Agritour Associates (specialist farm technology tours).

Programme

During February, John Perrin spent a week at Cove Mountain with David Fleig (the Lessee), Bryan Petrucci (American Farmland Trust Field Representative) and some of the Agritech companies (Ampac for Wrightson & Keystone Fence Supplies for TruTest).

Programmes for re-fencing the farm with permanent electric fences; and for replacing the present high endophyte fescue pastures with ryegrass, low endophyte
fescues and festuloliums in association with clovers and orchard grass, were developed. The native fescue pastures will be replaced over a 3-year period. Short rotation ryegrasses and brassicas will be used over a 2-year period to exhaust the existing fescue seedbed, increasing pasture productivity and quality at the same time.

The programme combines a trial component, to identify the most productive species and cultivars for the different soil types, with data collection to establish pasture productivity.

Information

We will add information on the progress of this unique project to this site regularly.

Through the practical application and adaption to local conditions, Dairy Projects International will be better able to assist other farmers or corporates realise the benefits of sustainable farming systems.

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