Improving on-farm profitability of sheep and deer systems using pasture renewal in the southern South Island


  • D.R. Stevens
  • A.K. Gibson
  • M.J. Casey



A cost benefit analysis of pasture renewal for sheep and deer systems is presented for cultivatable land in Otago and Southland. Pasture renewal was costed at between $400/ha (direct drilling) and $550/ha (full cultivation). The benefits from new pastures were assumed to peak at between 2 and 4 years after sowing and to last for 10 years. Sheep farm productivity was improved by up to 132%, and deer production by 60% with these models. The cost benefit analyses showed that net income increased by $409/ha and $184/ha when sowing improved ryegrass pastures for sheep and deer systems, respectively. The inclusion of chicory increased the advantage to $503/ha and $304/ha for sheep and deer systems, respectively. Increasing annual pasture renewal rate from 5% to 10%, 15% and 20% on a sheep and beef property improved net returns per hectare by $191/ha, $332/ha, $370/ ha and $409/ha respectively. In conclusion, when actively managed by farmers, pasture renewal benefits gained through improved seasonality of supply and increased pasture quality are highly profitable when realised through higher stocking rates and per head performance. Keywords: cost:benefit, deer, modelling, pasture renewal, profitability, sheep







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