Photo: Alice the dog oversees the paddock of cold-germinating oats.
Dylan says the sequence cropping has opened up another alternative to wintering in their farming operation and sees it as a win-win for his farm and the environment.
"We believe it will allow us to feed our younger livestock better, giving us improved live weight gains. It will address the issue of nitrogen losses after winter cropping, because the oat crop takes it up as it establishes and grows. The nitrogen typically would have been lost to the water table."
Dylan says the initial cost to establish the crop is a bit of a disadvantage, and Southland's climate makes it challenging to get the seed sown in early spring. But he's positive about the 7.7 tonne yield from the oats harvest and hopeful they won't need to bring in extra feed for his livestock this winter.
Photo: The oat harvest.
He cites success as limiting the nitrogen leaching, which he thinks has been achieved, but he says they'll need 12 months to fully understand if they have produced enough high quality, cost effective feed.
"For now we are looking forward to feeding our in-calf heifers on grass and oats, out of the typical muddy environment of winter cropping."
This story was printed in the Envirosouth magazine, which is published three times a year by Environment Southland and delivered to every mailbox in the region. Read it online.Give our land sustainability team a call on 0800 76 88 45 if you would like to know more.