We have a herd!

We have a herd

Cows are now on farm at the Southern Dairy Hub. The herd, as well as all young stock replacements required in year one of milking, have been secured. At present, there are multiple mobs of young stock on farm grazing the recently renovated pasture blocks. Work on the dairy shed is the major focus now with the effluent system complete and work due to begin on the calf sheds and silage bunkers this month.

For a visual of how the conversion has been progressing since Christmas click here and scroll through the images.

Herd details

  • 340 mixed-age cows, mainly Friesian cross, have been purchased from the Lower North Island (Levin), along with 105 in calf heifers to AB.
  • 185 calves have been sourced from within Southland with the remaining animals being made up of those from the Southland Dairy Farm (SDF).
  • 162 mixed-age (MA) cows were leased to three farms around the province and will return to be milked at the hub.
  • 65 rising two-year-old’s (R2’s) that were SDF calves will come into the hub and some young stock reared as payment for the lease of mixed age (MA) cows (42 calves and five in calf heifers).

Mixed age cows: 502

In calf rising two-year-olds:175

Cows to winter: 677

Calves on farm: 227

Calving dates:

August 5: Lease animals

July 18: Lower North Island cows

July 15: In calf heifers from the lower North Island

Herd Details

  • Herd liveweight: 485KgLWt
  • Herd breeding worth (BW) MA cow’s BW 88, In calf heifer’s BW 115
  • Herd production worth (PW), PW 113, In calf heifer’s PW 121
  • All 100 percent recorded ancestry
  • Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and Johne’s Disease status – BVD vat test clear, herd tested for Johnes and awaiting results
  • Tuberculosis (TB) status: C10
  • Body condition score (BCS) profile and targets at dry off: All cows must be minimum 4.5 on delivery, R2’s to be a minimum 400KgLWt at May 1
  • All cows will receive Ceprevin dry cow therapy
  • NAIT: All animals have NAIT tags and will be transferred through Minda

Expected arrival on farm:  R2’s the week of May 15 and MA cow’s the week of  May 20.

This week’s activities

  • Panel walls are beginning to be erected on the dairy shed to close it in. All bails have been fixed in place on the 60 bale rotary platform and pipe work for the kick rail. Entry and exit races to the dairy yard are expected to be poured with concrete in the week ahead. The pit has also been poured for the research facilities. Vat stand preparations are underway with the concrete base poured and curing.
  • Young stock are being grazed on the recently renovated pastures and nipping of pasture growth.
  • Stock water is connected to 50 percent of the farm and where the young stock are grazing.
  • Power has been connected to the electric fences and throwing out a reasonable 10-13Kv. All fencing except around the accommodation houses on farm have been completed and the effluent pond which will be deer fenced.
  • Weeping walls have been built in the sludge beds and concrete slipways have been poured for entry of effluent material into the sludge beds. The effluent pond has been lined and safety features installed such as ladders into the pond and buoys. The deer netting fence will complete the pond construction and safety requirements.
  • The implement shed will be a three bay shed, one enclosed lockable bay and two open bays which will contain the Dosatron system. The dimensions will be 9m by 14m. Gravel foundations have been laid and rolled and the bulk of the shed built.
  • Calf shed facilities (old woolshed) have been prepared for pens to be fitted, with the Novaflow and gravel floor ready.
  • A bore was drilled near the dairy shed site for shed water requirements, with water being tapped into at 14m, the pump is located 12m deep and static head at 5m.
  • Both accommodation houses on farm have been painted, carpeted, kitchen installed and are being plumbed and fitted with storage.

Aerial drone footage at the Southern Dairy Hub has been supplied in kind by Country and Co Southland. See previous footage previous footage here.

For further information on the Southern Dairy HUB, including a picture board of the conversion process, prior updates and media releases please click here: http://www.southerndairyhub.co.nz/news/