The aim of this project was to determine how the effects of removing all Internationally Produced Supplement (IPS), affects our New Zealand dairy farming systems with a productivity, profitability and sustainability lens.
Two approaches were taken in terms of substituting IPS throughout New Zealand. Maize silage was identified as the most appropriate substitute for the north island, barley and wheat grain for the south island.
The biggest challenge moving to a ZIPS dairy system in New Zealand is our availability of land to grow the alternative crops.
For production per hectare and per cow to remain the same as the season ended 31 May 2021, a total of 183,000ha would need to be retired from actively milked dairy platforms to yield the required tonnage of NZ Produced Supplement (NZPS).
Dairy farmers are nimble and willing to change, however the industry has become very reliant on IPS and moving to a ZIPS system is not the immediate answer. Net production and profitability is likely to be too damaging to the businesses sustainability for the short to medium term. A sustainable dairy business will be able to reinvest returns to ensure the business adopts modern practices that are for the betterment of the environment.