An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Supplement
dairy FOCUS Issue 26. July 20, 2010. $2.00
The key to keeping cows contented P3
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Contents Page 3
The key to contented cows
Milking systems feature
Page 4 Page 5
Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20
Biggest spring clean under way White line theories challenged
Improve your risk management
MAF prepared for quick response Opting for in-house child care Get on the front foot Calving feature
Nutrition and feeding
Being correct with credit
Coverage the key in teat spraying FarmRight feature Market overview The big unwind
An advertising supplement of the Ashburton Guardian Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Ashburton Guardian Publication date: Next issue:
July 20, 2010 August 17, 2010
Meet up in Methven Methven Farm Systems Discussion Group Region: Canterbury/North Otago Date: July 26, 2010 Time: 1pm – 4pm Location: The Blue Pub, 1 Barkers Road, Methven Get off farm for a social afternoon with your fellow farmers… Come along to the Blue Pub to have a chin wag with your mates before the craziness of calving begins. • Pre calving catch up - getting the feed, the cows and the team ready! • Wintering systems – are your cows getting enough to meet their targets? Contact: Leighton Parker Phone: 021 242 5907 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome any correspondence to either: Anna Money, phone 307-7936 email: email@example.com or Lance Isbister, phone 307-7953 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Keeping cows contented When Greg Meadows converted a farm at the foot of Mount Hutt to dairying three years ago, Herd Homes were part of the package. Mr Meadows had the Herd Homes built to promote better health among his herd of 800 cows, so they would not need to use as much of their own energy in keeping warm. “Our main motivations for building the Herd Homes were based on animal welfare, not pro�itability.” Mr Meadows said they use the Herd Homes to shelter the cows in the winter months from April through to October. He �irst saw the concept for the Herd Homes in a publication before he converted the farm more than three years ago, however the shelters he read about were originally designed to keep cows covered from the heat and humidity as opposed to the cold. Because the company is based in Northland the shelters were originally designed to lower cows’ body temperature in the hot and humid atmosphere of Northland. Before he made the decision to build the Herd Homes Mr Meadows travelled to Northland to look through the shelters on four dairy farms. He was impressed with their versatility and could see the cows had good ventilation while being under cover as the shelters do not feature side panels.
Lance Isbister Rural Reporter, Ashburton Guardian
Despite the omitted side panels Mr Meadows said the shelters were so well designed that the elements did not enter from the sides. Mr Meadows considers himself a traditional farmer, but saw the innovative shelters as an opportunity to protect their pastures from pugging as the farm can get as much as 1500mm of rain annually. He said although many people around Canterbury see the Herd Homes as unnecessary, he thought it was a good idea being so close to the foothills where temperatures can plummet to -7 to -8 degrees in winter. “The cows seem a lot more compliant and content in the Herd Homes, it’s very relaxing to walk through them.” Mr Meadows invested $500,000 in the two Herd Homes, which also feature ef�luent storage bunkers that can contain 500 cubic metres of waste under the slatted pads through which the cows trample dung down. The transparent design of the Herd Homes roofs allows the sun to shine through and break down the dung in the bunkers, where it dries out and can be used as fertiliser by farmers in the summer months. Mr Meadows said the cows tended to gather in anticipation of being herded back to the shelters where they knew it was warm, which con�irmed he had made a good investment.
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Biggest spring clean under way The nation’s largest spring clean is under way.
Five thousand operations staff, 2000 local contractors, 2000 bearings to be replaced, 2000 vats to be flushed and 60,000 kilometres of piping to be checked - that’s what it takes to get 26 dairy manufacturing sites in ‘peak’ condition for the new dairy season, Fonterra’s New Zealand manufacturing head Brent Taylor says. “When we hit the flush of the season, we’ve got 14 million litres of milk each day arriving from the farms of our 10,500 farmer shareholders. “Our site teams need to be able to hit the ground running, with the aim of processing all that milk into product as efficiently as possible without losing a drop.”
Mr Taylor says each winter, when milk flows have slowed and many of the co-operative’s manufacturing plants have stopped production for the season, site teams use the time to upgrade manufacturing technology and get their equipment in top working order. “This could be anything from
building a new drier to initiatives to improve our quality and yields performance – maximising the value we get for our farmers’ milk. Or it could be an upgrade to our manufacturing capability to produce a new product for one of our customers in 140 markets.”
“At Stirling in Southern Otago, for example, we’re putting in some new gear that will allow us to make a wider range of cheeses to better meet customer needs in export markets, such as Japan.” Mr Taylor says the co-operative is known around the world for the quality of its product, and a lot of effort goes into continually improving its operations and ensuring the best product quality on a day-to-day basis.
LEFT: Fonterra’s general manager New Zealand manufacturing Brent Taylor inspects the drive system of one of Clandeboye’s milk homogenisers during winter maintenance.
“This ‘down-time’ over winter is our chance to tackle some of those jobs that we can’t get to when it’s all hands on deck during the peak of the season.”
“Like our farmers make the most of the season to catch up on farm repairs and maintenance, we make the most of this time to ensure our sites are in the best shape to turn our farmers’ milk into product as effectively as we can.”
New Dairy? Dairy Conversion? New Irrigation?
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White line theories challenged Fred Hoekstra Veehof Dairy Services
White line disease is one of the most common hoof problems we see in New Zealand.
Apparently, according to some hoof care gurus, white line disease occurs when a cow is turning on concrete, when cows back off the platform or when they turn around on the yard. It also happens when they are being pushed by the backing gate.
The white line is the weakest part of the hoof and, therefore, the easiest part of the hoof to get damaged. Stones penetrate into that part of the hoof the easiest. This theory is widely accepted by farmers and veterinarians. Letâ€™s think about this theory for a minute. If we only look at the evidence that has been presented so far then, perhaps, it is fair enough to come up with an explanation such as the above. The biggest problem I have with this theory is that it has never been proven. I want to give you some more facts to think about and challenge you to consider them the next time you trim cowsâ€™ feet.
Often you find the exact same symptoms in the opposite foot. It is almost the same foot but in mirror image. It may not be quite as severe but it is there. In 99.9% of the cases white line is in the outer back foot.
White line always, without fail, goes up on an angle towards the heel of the foot. It never goes straight up or on an angle forward. What conclusions can we draw from this extra information? If white line occurs because the cow twists her foot on concrete, then you would find a lot more cows that have white line problems on only one foot as the platform in the cow shed is turning the same way every day. If the problem happens because the wall is torn away from the sole and the laminae, then there should be a wide gap torn away and not a tiny little canal, which is often no bigger than a needle.
The theory that a sharp stone is being pushed up in the white line doesnâ€™t make much sense to me either. What pushes the stone up higher when the bottom of the stone gets above the bottom of the sole? Cows get white line problems because
An example of white line disease. In most cases it occurs in the outer back foot. of laminitis. The problem starts up at the top of the wall. With laminitis, the live tissue along the laminae produces a lesser quality horn. Evidence of this is when you see some small blood stains in the white line. They often are as small as pin heads and you have to look carefully not to miss them. This lower quality horn may, in fact, have tiny little cracks, just big enough for bacteria to travel up towards the live tissue. When the bacteria get to the top, it aggravates the laminae even more, so the crack growing down becomes bigger.
If this carries on for a while, the cracks become big enough for dirt and, later, stones to travel up there. The reason white line is more often in the outer claw than the inner claw is because it is the bigger claw. The bigger claw carries more weight.
Checking for lameness in dairy cattle.
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If the cow suffers from laminitis, then the claw with the extra weight stress will suffer more than the claw that doesnâ€™t carry as much weight. Of course, if your cows have a white line crack and you make them twist their feet on concrete, it could aggravate the problem but that does not mean that the twisting on concrete causes the problem. Look on our website for some more articles www.veehof.co.nz
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Of Milking Systems Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature
When you need plant reliability – 1 delivers
For the past 30 years New Zealand dairy farmers have grown to trust the reliability and value offered by installing Waikato Milking Systems products. A down to earth approach and working directly with dairy farmers to achieve successful project outcomes has established Waikato Milking Systems as the market leader in N.Z and a brand sought after in key dairying markets around the globe. Waikato Milking Systems develops, designs, manufactures and markets a comprehensive array of milking systems and components. The Smart Electronic Cup Remover is sophisticated and versatile. Designed primarily for rotary application, Smart Electronic Cup Remover offers value solutions to issues typically associated with rotary operation and usually resolved only with expensive high-end automation. The processing power of a Smart Electronic Cup Remover system allows you total control over such things as BailGate function, Cluster drop/lift, Kick off alert and maximum unit on time. Totally programmable, totally ﬂexible and so advanced, Smart Electronic Cup Remover is deﬁnitely at the front of the pack. SmartD-Tect – the smartest way to ﬁnd mastitis Scientiﬁcally proven to reliably identify 80% of your clinical mastitis cases (quarters with visible clots), Smart D-Tect is innovative product designed to help identify the onset of this disease in dairy cattle. The result…. 4 out of every 5 clinical mastitis cases are ﬂagged automatically. SmartD-Tect analyses the milk from every quarter of every cow at every milking. Farmers using the system report the best and most consistent control
of mastitis derived from a system that needs no user intervention. Smart D-Tect can now be linked to Protrack Vantage via a remote wireless Smart-Link controller, further enhancing its operational capability. Using alert signals produced from each cow during milking the system can automatically draft animals in preparation for physical checks and load information into a database for future reference. SmartSpray automatic teat spraying system. Developed by Waikato Milking Systems, SmartSpray is an automatic teat spraying system for use on all rotary platforms. Using deck mounted spray modules called S-Bullets, teat spray compound is directed upward and onto the teats applying chemical in an even well controlled way. SmartSpray ensures that the teats are sprayed immediately after milking at a time when the teat oriﬁce is open and most vulnerable to infection. Building rotary platforms is our business... A Waikato Rotary platform is a premium product in every way. From its build quality to its overall performance, a Waikato Rotary platform is very hard to beat. Deeper foundation proﬁles allow for an underpass if required and a 3m concrete deck incorporating a drench walkway protects the milking equipment and automation components. Factory engineered and meticulously built platform kits are continuously scrutinised through production to installation. Care is taken to ensure the best quality product is delivered to your farm. Waikato Rotary platforms are built to the highest standards WMS-RPNZProd&SerFlyerAug09_p 04/09/2009 AM40 PageMPA 1 using a combination of galvanised steel9:27 and reinforced concrete.
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Of Milking Systems Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature
GLYCOL SNAP CHILLING SYSTEMS are the future of milk cooling
Glycol systems are now available to instantly cool milk to 4°C before leaving the plate cooler. Milk cooled in this manner has negligible bug growth and the quality is superb. Milk is always at 5°C and ready for collection any time of the day or night SO WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF GLYCOL SNAP CHILLERS? • Superb Milk Quality virtually eliminates the possibility of expensive milk quality downgrades • Lower running costs due to more efﬁcient ﬂuid heat transfer and hot water heat recovery systems Single large cooling unit means: • Lower maintenance costs • Robust industrial refrigeration system Cools milk in silos by running Glycol through silo refrigeration pads • No additional refrigeration equipment is required for milk silos • No additional chiller capacity required for additional cows or milk silo’s • Reduces stress on the milk silo refrigeration pads • Microprocessor control systems allow alarms to alert the farmer in the unlikely event of ineffective milk cooling These technologies have been well proven both here and overseas Dairy company policies now dictate using snap chilling for larger and dual milk silo farms and it is in farmer’s interests to install the correct cooling equipment to ensure they are future proofed into the future. Milk is ready for collection any time of the day or night Robust industrial design ensures superior reliability to conventional refrigeration systems DAIRYCOOL ARE AN ASHBURTON BASED DAIRY FARM REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST COMPANY
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Lower your running costs without huge Free no obligation on-farm appraisal – outlay with a reliable company that uses take advantage of the “out of the box” reliable products. thinking of the team at Dairycool and • Glycol and other snap chilling technologies experience the unmatched after sales service. • Milk silo refrigeration and Murray insulation wraps Call today• Programmed 307 8903maintenance • Dairycool milk silo controllers • 24 hour breakdown service • Mahana Blue and heat exchanger recovery • Expert milk cooling/refrigeration units consultancy
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Of Milking Systems Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature
SMARTER SYSTEMS FORĂŠ SMARTĂŠ FARMERS &KRRVH 0LON+XE IRU SRZHUIXO KHUG PDQDJHPHQW LQIRUPDWLRQ DQG VXSHULRU DXWRPDWLRQ Âą VDYLQJ \RX SUHFLRXVWLPHDQGPRQH\RQODERXUDQGZDVWDJH MilkHubLVDFRPSUHKHQVLYHGDLU\PDQDJHPHQWV\VWHP WKDWEXLOGVRQLQOLQHVHQVRUVWRSURYLGHLQIRUPDWLRQIRU ERWKLPPHGLDWHLQVKHGVWDIIDFWLRQDQGIRUVWUDWHJLF GHFLVLRQPDNLQJE\WKHIDUPPDQDJHU MilkHubFDQEHÂżWWHGLQDQ\H[LVWLQJRUQHZVKHGDQG ZRUNVZLWKDQ\PLONLQJPDFKLQHW\SH 7KH systemLVGHVLJQHGIRUWKHFRPPHUFLDOO\IRFXVHG IDUPHQWHUSULVHWRGHOLYHUPXOWLSOHEHQHÂżWVLQFOXGLQJ Â‡ ,QGLYLGXDOFRZPRQLWRULQJWRPDQDJHPDVWLWLV Â‡ ,QGLYLGXDOFRZPRQLWRULQJWRPDQDJHORZ producing cows Â‡ 2SWLRQDOLQGLYLGXDOFRZZHLJKWPHDVXUHPHQWIRU condition monitoring Â‡ 2SWLRQDOLQGLYLGXDOFRZIHHGLQJIRURSWLPXPFRZ SURGXFWLYLW\ Â‡ 3ODQWPLONLQJSHUIRUPDQFHPRQLWRULQJWRHQVXUH optimum milking throughput Â‡ 3ODQWFOHDQLQJSHUIRUPDQFHPRQLWRULQJWR eliminate hygiene downgrades Â‡ 3RZHUIXOGHFLVLRQWRROVIRULQVHDVRQDQGHQGRI season management
Tim Lovett Farm Owner Ashburton, (1020 cows) â€œMastitis detection has been the ELJJHVW EHQHÂżW IRU XV 7KHUHÂśV no need to strip the whole heard anymore, just the cows the system UDQNVDVKLJKULVNÂ´ Âł7KH V\VWHP NHHSV JHWWLQJ EHWWHU all the time with new options being DGGHGOLNHZHLJKVFDOHVDQGIHHGHUV , GRQÂśW NQRZ KRZ SHRSOH PDQDJH ZLWKRXWLWÂ´
6DOHV0DQDJHU5R\:RRG 3K&HOO HPDLOUR\ZRRG#PLONKXEFRQ]
ZZZPLONKXEFRQ] 0800 MILKHUB + Herd Optimisation
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â€œSuccess for us at MilkHub is when our farmers are using the system to its full potential,â€? Moonyeen Greathead, technical support ofďŹ cer for MilkHub, says. â€œSelling the system is just the start of the process. We work hard with our farmers to explain how to use it at the important times of the dairy season.â€? MilkHub has been working with our farmers to develop processes to make sure it is used for maximum beneďŹ t throughout the whole dairy season. At this time of the year, key issues are capturing calving data, using the system for early season mastitis and looking for signs of poor health through alerts from yield and weight trends. As always, the system keeps track of how well the plant is milking and cleaning. As part of the strong farmer support MilkHub has developed a range of easy to use resources. These include video tutorials, help notes and a seasonal planner. These resources have been well received and posted around the shed to help staff quickly take actions to manage their cows. â€œWe have a very powerful system that can make a real difference to the farmer. But, you can sell the best technology there is and if the farmer doesnâ€™t turn it on or hasnâ€™t been helped on how to get the best out of it, itâ€™s of no beneďŹ t,â€? MilkHub managing director Ross Nilson, says. â€œWe realised this early on and have put a huge effort into our customer training and support.â€? MilkHub is a comprehensive dairy decision support system, supported by a motivated local team. For more information contact 0800 MILKHUB (6455482) or visit www.milkhub.co.nz
Of Milking Systems Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature
ACL Readymix Concrete are currently supplying their quality ready-mixed concrete to Dairy Sheds all over Mid-Canterbury. Their team of experienced drivers go out of their way to ensure a quality concrete experience every load
Cementing your future in the dairy industry
A dairy farm is no longer the â€œshedâ€?. Itâ€™s a major investment for the dairy farm business; a milking facility that has to be extremely well designed to accommodate larger herds while improving efďŹ ciency in cow ďŹ‚ow and hygienic milking processes. When strength and durability are important to your dairy structure, ďŹ rst and foremost you should think ACL Readymix Concrete. We specialise in providing high performance concrete for any dairy shed structure, whether it be rotary or herringbone platforms, waiting pads or laneways. We understand that areas in and around the dairy shed need adequate grip, strength and durability to minimise losses and to provide grip for stock, heavy vehicles, tractors and people. Not only is the concrete mixed to the highest of standards, it is also certiďŹ ed for strength by the New Zealand readymixed concrete association. Our plant engineer has the knowledge and experience to design a mix to speciďŹ cally meet your needs. We have the largest ďŹ‚eet of readymix concrete trucks in Mid-Canterbury, meaning we are dedicated to handling any job quickly, we always strive to provide fast response times to job inquiries, while adhering to the highest industry standards. Concrete structures reduce the chances of lameness in stock and create better working conditions for your team. If you are considering concrete additions to your farm, give us a call to see how we can help. We can tailor make a solution to best suit your farming requirements and budget.
Have you â€˜herdâ€™ the friendly team at Grieve Construction have been making cows happy with top quality dairy sheds that are made to last. â€œMaking Cows Happy Since 1979â€? !LFORD &OREST 2OAD !SHBURTON 0HONE s -OBILE &AX s %MAIL OFl CE GRICONCONZ
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Concrete your farm NOW to save you money later Concrete pathways will reduce mud and dust in your sheds and on your vehicles, and will reduce the possibility of lame stock. Concrete silage pits are durable, and will stand the test of time through harsh weather conditions. Concrete ďŹ‚oors in your sheds will provide a clean, solid work space, easy to keep clean. Dairy Laneways provide safe areas to move your stock, considerably reducing maintenance costs over traditional laneways. Weâ€™re available for all jobs big and small, whether you need a base for a pivot irrigator, or have some post holes that need ďŹ lling, an efďŹ‚uent pond that needs lining or a shed ďŹ‚oor to pour, our experienced drivers will make it an effortless experience, and will go the extra mile to make sure you have a quality concrete experience, each and every load.
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Improve your risk management The past three seasons have seen farmers experience greater volatility.
Key contributors to this higher level of uncertainty include global dairy commodity, feed and fertiliser prices and climatic conditions.
This dynamic environment has exposed dairy businesses to greater risk than in the past. These circumstances have focused attention on the cash flow of dairy businesses. The two key areas to focus on are farm working expenses and interest payments. High indebtedness reduces a businessâ€™ ability to buffer volatility in milk prices and the cost of farm inputs. As a result, some highly leveraged farms have not survived.
With more volatility and uncertainty, farm businesses need to focus on improving their risk management. One way of achieving this is to lower debt gearing and tighten cost control. Farmers with low gearing (<40% debt) and low operating cost structures (<$2.50 to 3.50/kgMS) generally are the most profitable irrespective of the operating environment.
While weather conditions have been challenging in many areas throughout New Zealand, Canterbury farmers, particularly those with reliable irrigation, have had one of the best seasons in memory.
When the low payout of $4.55/kg MS was announced at the start of last season, dairy farmers were forced to analyse the cost effectiveness of their businesses and trim costs to remain viable.
As the season progressed the milk price was increased to $6.10 /kg MS plus the dividend. Now, rather than making a loss or breaking even, many Canterbury dairy farmers have made substantial cash surpluses. They have a great opportunity to reduce the exposure of their businesses to external risks. Some key considerations for developing a more robust business in uncertain times include:
â€˘ Planning â€“ develop a clear direction, a detailed budget for the next season and scenarios for a range of milk prices over the next few years.
Leighton Parker DairyNZ Consulting Officer Mid Canterbury
areas have more risk than those with reliable rainfall or irrigation (financial risk = price risk x production risk).
â€˘ Maximise the use of pasture â€“ pasture is the cheapest feed source and its use should be maximised. However, this does not mean opportunities to buyin supplements should not be taken-up if a rigorous financial analysis supports their purchase. â€˘ Farms with low fixed costs tend to be profitable irrespective of changes in payout and expenditure items.
â€˘ Monitoring and control - be disciplined and consistent in monitoring financial performance against budget; adjustments made early provide the greatest scope for managing price and production volatility.
â€˘ Debt consolidation â€“ higher debt levels reduce the businesses ability to buffer against volatility. Set a debt target to suit the circumstances of your business and your personal preference. Those in drought-prone
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