Output Tool Technical Report 2
Jingwei Ke, Pexels

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Strip-till Fodder Beet to Improve Land and Water Outcomes

December 2023

Fodder beet is an important crop for wintering in New Zealand farming systems. It keeps well through winter providing a high dry matter feed. However, high stocking rates on water-logged soils can create adverse environmental effects that have been in the public eye in recent years.

This small study aimed to ascertain if there was less run off created in strip-till cultivation compared to conventional cultivation of fodder beet.

Analysis of SS, TN, NO3, DRP, and TP found no significance between treatments, that cultivation, given the parameters of this research, showed no significant impact of cultivation method on runoff. Most metrics (SS, TN, DRP, and TN) decreased after each runoff event, indicating there could be some effect of trampling to consolidate the soil. The financial analysis had a slight saving in favour of the strip tillage, 0.5% cheaper per hectare.

Collecting a larger sample size across a range of soil types and over a number of years will help distinguish if there is in fact any significant difference.

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