Environmental impact to hit land values

Environmental constraints on dairy farms will have more impact on land value and make farm profitability more pivotal to buying land in the future.

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  • Letting go and loving it

    Waikato farmers Morris and Linda Barlow have approached farm succession intentionally, making sure it has been well-planned and there are no surprises. They told *Glenys Christian* it was up to their children to make their own choices.

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  • Cranking it up

    Being an expert doesn’t mean you know all the answers. Anne Lee talked to farm consultant Phil Everest about the importance of feedback and new ideas.

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  • Keeping their eyes on the prize

    North Otago sharemilkers Hayden and Robyn Williams know where they want to go, and they know how they want to get there. They told Anne Lee DairyBase has been a key tool in working towards their goals.

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  • People Power Pays off

    Breeding quality stock has been a lifelong passion for Willie Muir but he told Claire Cameron that with an increasing reliance on employees in his farm business he now has his sights set on improving his people management skills.

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Supporting Gypsy Day students

A Southland primary school principal is trying to help dairy farming children who move schools mid-year because of Gypsy Day.

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  • Sorting out the bugs

    The New Zealand Veterinary Association has released a report on the issue of growing antibiotic resistance. Its goal by 2030 is to maintain the health and wellness of all animals without the need for antibiotics, other than in exceptional or emergency circumstances.

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  • Dairying in a different world

    A crisis in British dairy farming, The Guardian reported early in the New Year, threatened to require David Archer to sell his herd and cease milk production at Brookfield farm somewhere in Middle England.

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  • A mixed year for shares

    Investors in a2 Milk Company had a much more prosperous 2015 than those who invested in Fonterra Shareholders Fund units or Synlait shares.

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  • Retro payments down

    Last month’s drop in milk price will not only have an immediate effect on cashflow over coming months, it will also cut 20c/kg milksolids (MS) off retrospective payments going into next season.

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Serious business and a bit of fun

Planning is the key to success for this year’s Sharemilker-Equity Farmers of the Year, Justin and Melissa Slattery. They told Anne Lee their plans include every aspect of farm management, and also ways to enjoy life.

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Nature and nurture

Focusing on genetics has created an extra income stream for Manawatu farmers Raewyn and Craig Passey. They told *Jackie Harrigan* they’re able to sell surplus heifers and cows and get good returns from their top weaner bulls.

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  • Salad days

    Variety is the spice of life, and that certainly applies to the feed options on Mark and Laura Manson’s Golden Bay farm. They told Anne Hardie a move away from ryegrass to a more varied pasture mix has helped them cope in dry summers, and reduced costs.

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  • Staying in the black

    Running a pasture-dominant, all-grazing system with reduced feed and nitrogen fertiliser inputs can significantly reduce nitrate leaching without necessarily inflicting a big blow to profit.

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  • Breaking new ground

    Three years’ worth of data is being crunched for the ambitious Pastoral 21 project at Telford in South Otago, where the research team was looking to reduce nitrate leaching by 30% and increase operating profit by at least $100/ha.

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  • Flipping for success

    Breaking through the iron pan beneath waterlogged ground and flipping the soil has turned a West Coast moss bog into a levelled, grassed milking platform. *Anne Hardie* reports.

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Guardians of the lake

Running a dairy farm on the edge of a lake which has had water quality issues, and holiday baches as neighbours, could be a daunting challenge but Liz Blakemore and her partner Henry Raymond have embraced their location and environmental goals.

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  • Keeping water use to a minimum

    When the Welch family looked at a new effluent system as part of constructing a new dairy and feedpad they wanted one which minimised water use. 

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  • The tolerant cow

    Sacrificing some genetic value to breed facial eczema-tolerant dairy cows could be a better path to increasing milk production. Bay of Plenty farmer Richard Sisam told *Sheryl Brown* why he’s using genetics to tackle the disease.

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  • Breeding the perfect cows

    Averaging 80 contract matings in his herd every year, Murray Gibb is hoping to breed an outstanding bull for the industry one day. *Sheryl Brown* visited the Waikato farmer to find out how he bred one of the best herds in the country.

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  • For the love of cows

    Breeding Jerseys is a passion for Tony Landers and is what led him to be involved in the Jersey Genome programme. He tells *Cheyenne Stein* about his involvement in the programme and the benefits it has to the breed.

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Surviving the curve balls

In farming, you never know what the day, week, or season will bring. *Anne Lee* talked to Tim and Megan Parsons about setting themselves up to deal with the unexpected.

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  • Converting white from gold

    Converting 200ha of a 1400ha family farming enterprise to dairying probably wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for some very smart irrigation technology. Anne Lee talked to Nick Webster and Peter Mitchell in north Otago to find out how precise application is making their water go further.

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  • People-first in health and safety

    Rachel and Kenneth Short say getting on top of your health and safety policies doesn’t have to be about piles of paperwork and shouldn’t be about simply ticking the compliance boxes. They told Cheyenne Stein how they strive to run simple yet effective systems that make health and safety on their farm a breeze.

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  • Goodbye horny cows

    CRV Ambreed has a breeding programme underway to breed cows with no horns.

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  • Looking under the bonnet

    Cows are like cars. You rank your potential new vehicle on how it looks, the size of its engine, fuel consumption, safety rating and power. You rank cows in the same way, based on their looks, Breeding Worth (BW), Production Worth (PW) and Lactation Worth (LW).

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  • Time to get serious

    It’s time dairy farmers got serious about their management of facial eczema (FE), VetEnt veterinarian Emma Cuttance says.

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  • Health benefits from SGL

    Using short-gestation length (SGL) semen at the end of AI not only means cows calving on average 10 days earlier the following spring but also the potential to reduce the animal health bill, LIC’s SGL breeding programme manager Malcolm Ellis says.

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  • Weights up but new research on way

    Big improvement in heifer liveweights has shown up in an LIC study but there’s still room for more, particularly at later growth stages.

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  • Bulls for heifers

    While a lot of the focus in reproduction is on heifers and cows, Otago farmer Kelly Allison says the bull is just as important. He talked to Karen Trebilcock about his dairy bull stud.

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  • Spaans new DairyNZ head

    Waikato dairy farmer Michael Spaans has been elected the new chairman of DairyNZ.

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  • A passionate dairy man

    “An all-round good guy who loved life, loved his family and loved the dairy industry” is how LIC’s current chairman Murray King remembers David Milne, who died peacefully on the West Coast in early September at the age of 71.

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  • Talk to banks about finances

    DAIRY farmers are being encouraged to stick together and talk to friends, family and agribusiness professionals to help them get through the tougher economic times ahead for the sector.

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  • Cows ‘struggling’ with intensification

    Genetic gain in New Zealand has focused on breeding cows to suit low-input systems and they are struggling to stand up to the rapid move to intensive farming, breeding consultant Don Shaw says.

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  • The impact of oil

    There is little positive news to report from the dairy markets. The markets have started 2016 in a lacklustre way as the sheer volumes of milk being produced across the globe weigh heavily.

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  • Environmental wins

    Maybe a copy of this issue of Dairy Exporter needs to be dropped in every urban mailbox for all the city folk that have swallowed the mainstream media’s “dirty dairy” campaign of a few years ago.

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  • Dairy Diary February

    *February 18* – The Lincoln University Dairy Farm runs its first focus day for the year between 10am and 1pm. Visit www.siddc.org.nz[http://www.siddc.org.nz].

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  • Autumn lactation on fodder beet

    The potential of fodder beet is becoming widely recognised and it is becoming commonplace as a substitute for other wintering systems – substituting for crops such as kale. However, there are some important differences between fodder beet and brassica from an animal health perspective.

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A jewel in the north

Awanui sits at the base of Far North’s Aupouri Peninsula, with Ninety Mile Beach to the west and some of the country’s favourite beaches to the east. That makes it a great location for a dairy farm, especially a 243 hectare one producing up to 1250kg milksolids (MS) a hectare without irrigation.

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  • Crank it up

    Huge scope exists on a 488 hectare south Canterbury farm that milks 1600 cows through an 80-bail rotary and has the potential to be cranked up to the next level.

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  • Heart of the south

    A 171 hectare dairy farm for sale in the heart of central Southland milked 480 cows for 208,688kg milksolids (MS) last season.

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  • A walk in the park

    Specimen trees on clean pasture create a park-like scene on a Reefton farm that is described as one of the tidiest dairy farms on the West Coast, while also producing most of its supplements and wintering the cows.

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  • Get a good start

    Burleigh Grange Farm has had all the hard work done with its conversion and now, in its second season, the sale of the 105 hectare south Canterbury farm creates an opportunity for someone to step into farm ownership.

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Getting a good start

A report released recently by economic research agency BERL on the potential economic, environmental and financial impact of the Queen of Calves rearing system on New Zealand dairy farming found if 10% of the national herd adopted the system over the next 10 years, 25 million tonnes extra milksolids could be generated from the same grazing footprint.

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  • The long road to recovery

    As the lower North Island flood clean-up gains momentum after recent flood events farmers face a stressful time considering the state of their pasture and to what extent silt deposits will affect their soil. 

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  • All class

    With continuously variable transmission and cutting-edge, on-board technology, the new Claas Arion 600/500 CMATIC is arguably the most advanced, efficient, versatile and comfortable mid-range tractor available in New Zealand.

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  • More than a trade show

    While the low dairy payout will undoubtedly cast a shadow, exhibitors and organisers National Fieldays at Mystery Creek remain confident the event will continue to cement itself as a global showcase for New Zealand farming enterprises.

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  • Built for absolute reliability

    SAM fertiliser and combo spreaders are reliable and built to last. 

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It’s all in the planning

While most New Zealanders soaked up the warm weather, Dairy Exporter Associate Editor Anne Lee spent the summer shivering in a UK winter investigating wintering options developed in a cold climate. 

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  • Animal health

    *Feet*

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  • Slurry cleaning systems

    Passageways or scrapeways both indoors and outside can be cleaned by automatic scrapers. Most common were hydraulic scrapers that require a raised, covered track to be installed in the centre along the length of the passageway.

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  • Effluent management

    Storing and managing the slurry from a housed cow system or scrapeways on an outdoor pad can require a significant capital outlay for storage and handling.

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  • Quantity makes the difference

    Moorepark has carried out several experiments on crop wintering diets and found that how much the cow is offered makes more difference than what it’s fed.

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Simple steps to great yards

*New dairies*

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  • Innovators keep on innovating

    The exhibits at Fieldays’ Innovation Centre this year featured the usual array of probables, possibles, and perhaps-not winners. Tim McVeagh had a look at a few of the promising ones with details provided by those on the stands.

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  • Pre-season plant pointers

    Ryan Hall, manager of the QCONZ farm team, has some tips for getting new season milk production off to a good start. 

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  • Getting the dairy up to scratch

    With seasonal milk suppliers cranking back up again, it is timely to review systems to ensure milk hygiene and compliance requirements are met.

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