The value of legumes to a Whanganui hill country farm


  • J.M. Rendel
  • A.D. Mackay
  • P.N. Smale



There is interest in the sheep and beef sector in lifting the legume content of hill pastures. This interest is tempered by the uncertainty of the benefits and how much farmers can afford to spend to achieve them. The objective of this study was to quantify the value to a hill country farm of differing proportions of legumes in a mixed species pasture using AgInform® (Integrated Farm Optimisation and Resource Allocation Model). AgInform® is a multi-year farm systems model, adapted so that the legume proportion of pasture as it influences pasture growth and animal performance through its influence on diet could be included as variables in the model. Three levels of legume (Low, Base and High) in a mixed pasture were modelled. The model predicts that increasing the legume proportion increases farm profitability although not in a linear manner with increasing legume proportion. This analysis provides an indication of the investment that hill country farmers can afford to increase the legume proportion in mixed pastures. Keywords: farm systems, legume, variability, AgInform®, multi-year


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How to Cite

Rendel, J., Mackay, A., & Smale, P. (2017). The value of legumes to a Whanganui hill country farm. Journal of New Zealand Grasslands, 79, 35–41.



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