27 August 2020
Version 6.3.4 provides modelling for plantain pasture.
Data entry functions to include plantain as a pasture were added to OverseerFM in June 2020.
The animal excreta response to consumption of Plantain pasture mixes has now been added to OverseerFM following the completion of the Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching (FRNL) research programme.
Research undertaken as part of the FRNL programme assessed the impact of plantain on nitrate leaching from changes in animal excreta following consumption. Recommendations on how these beneficial effects could be represented in Overseer are available on the FRNL website. Technical information about the implementation of the FRNL findings into OverseerFM are available HERE
In summary, the effects of plantain’s plant composition on urine nitrogen excretion by animals is now included in OverseerFM modelling. How this works is that less of the excreted nitrogen ends up in urine and increased urination means urine patches have a lower nitrogen load. Depending on the proportion of plantain in the animals’ diet, this will reduce the N leached. Where plantain is harvested and fed out, the effect is only applied if direct feeding is used.
Notably, the model has not been updated to accommodate any bio-chemical processes that could be occurring in relation to Plantain roots, this requires further research to enable modelling to be achieved.
Users are required to identify the proportion of pasture that is made up of plantain in any one block as part of choosing a plantain pasture. Guidance on this is being developed by DairyNZ, see preliminary guidance HERE
This model version release should have no impact on Farm Analyses that do not contain plantain pasture.
Some minor software updates have also been included in this release, these are notified in OverseerFM.
NB. More information about the environmental effects of plantain can be found HERE on the DairyNZ Website