There are massive opportunities for young people to progress to dairy farm ownership if they are prepared to go down non-traditional pathways.
Dairy farmers who adapt quickest to change will survive in an industry where milk price volatility is an everyday part of farming. The Farmer who was the fastest or strongest was no longer the most likely to survive.
“Traditionally dairy farmer focus is on producing milk, not calves; but the potential to treble their calf cheque by breeding calves in demand by the beef industry is prompting many more dairy farmers to breed cows, after replacements, to proven short-gestation beef genetics."
James Allen, from AgFirst, told the Federated Farmers dairy annual meeting last week of a steady decline in the number of herd-owning sharemilkers.
Over the last 30 years we have seen the rise and plateau of maize hectares used for silage and grain in New Zealand farming systems. The first decade of the new millennium saw the rapid rise of maize for silage on dairy farms in this country. Increased demand came with an associated new understanding about where maize could grow in New Zealand and when and how it could be used as a supplement to improve profitability.
"My passion has always been for agriculture. It is definitely in the blood. My love of farming runs deep and a career in agriculture is my ultimate goal."
Body condition scoring to a standard scale allows consistency within and between herds over time, and more objective assessment of BCS differences.
A BCS scale of 1-10 is detailed in this article and relates to British breeds such as Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn or their crosses
Early weaning means cow intake can be slashed and high-quality feed redeployed. Whether it pays depends on how you use it, AgFirst’s Bob Thomson says.
If you’re not targeting autumn calf sales as your main payday from beef farming there can be a strong case for weaning calves considerably earlier than traditional timings, drought or no drought. Andrew Swallow reports.
AgFirst farm consultant Dave Miller said high leaching farmers needed to maintain a close check on their numbers when submitting their nitrogen reference point as required under the Healthy Rivers plan for change.
With a young family and plenty of daily jobs to do on farm each day, Don and Kathy McKinnon want to ensure they can manage their effluent as effectively as possible without any unnecessary work. They milk 180 kiwicross cows on the farm they have been operating for the last 10 years at Opiki south of Palmerston North.