A new dairy beef programme has been launched by farm consultancy group AgFirst and Hamilton-based meat processor Greenlea to help promote better use of beef genetics among dairy farmers.
Beef genetics are an increasingly popular option for dairy farmers because resulting calves from mated dairy cows are fetching good values at four-day-old calf sales around the country.
The programme requires farmers to commit to a minimum of 100 straws of either Hereford, Angus or Simmental genetics that are to be mated with mature cows. Dairy farmers in the pilot scheme would receive free beef semen for insemination.
Dave Miller seems to think so, and his opinion is based on research into the industry which AgFirst carried out over the last season. This discovered the number of Herd Owning Sharemilking arrangements was dropping, and more Variable Order Sharemilkers were turning to Contract Milking arrangements. The reason appears to be because of milk price volatility.
The challenge to create a better value proposition for rearing dairy-beef calves is compelling and one the dairy and beef industries are acutely aware of.
Belton was one of three category winners announced at the Rural Professional of the Year Awards last week. The judges were impressed with the calibre of the five candidates and said there was little separating them.
A recent study confirmed that lamb weaning weight is king when it comes to sheep profitability. Weaning percentage is important too, but a 1 kg increase in weaning weight is equivalent to a 5% increase in lambs weaned. With lambing just around the corner there is management decisions to be made now to ensure a high weaning weight.
Healthy Rivers Plan for change is creating a lot of interest throughout the Waikato with farmers coming to grips with what it could mean for them. For some of the rules such as restrictions on land use change and grazing/cultivation setbacks we can see how they will affect a property and what changes are needed to comply.
Tony and Briar Lunjevich have just finished their journey as Far North Partner Farmers, having achieved their goal of increasing equity by more than $500,000 and fine-tuning the farm system to generate an extra $120,000 more farm profit each year.
The most profitable system for any particular farm is not always obvious. Sharemilker James Foote and AgFirst consultant Stacey Belton looked at various scenarios via a farm system review and were surprised by the optimal ratio for split calving.
AgFirst Waikato has teamed up with Greenlea Premier Meats to help improve profits and outcomes for both the dairy and beef industries along with addressing the growing challenge of bobby calves in the Waikato. The result was a contract based system where dairy farmers utilise proven beef semen over their herd after their initial AB period.