Economics of drought-tolerant pastures for cattle finishing on Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa hill country farms

C.J. Korte, A.P. Rhodes
1993 Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association  
Planting drought-tolerant pastures (tall fescue, chicory, prairie grass) is one option Hawkes Bay/ Wairarapa farmers can use to reduce the impact of drought. To evaluate this strategy two hill country sheep/beef farm models were established and entered in HerdEcon, a bioeconomics computer model. Using the two farm models, three comparisons were made: (1) base farm (no alternative pasture), (2) alternative pasture planted on 5% or 10% of grazable area, and (3) same as 2, with changes in cattle
more » ... changes in cattle selling policy. Models were run for a 19-year sequence based on pasture growth for Hawkes Bay, and with a range of beef prices and pasture renewal costs. Drought-tolerant pastures increased the financial returns from both farm models, provided that livestock policies allowed increases in pasture quality and summer pasture growth to be captured by increased beef production. Lower pasture establishment costs and improved persistence would significantly improve profitability from drought-tolerant pastures. Keywords cattle, dryland pastures, economics
doi:10.33584/jnzg.1993.55.2083 fatcat:snamfregjrgfhlhtsbjnejgypm