Friday, April 19, 2024

Top dairy herd goes under the hammer

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THE sale of elite in-milk cows from New Zealand’s highest BW crossbred herd is expected to attract strong interest from dairy farmers across the country.
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The on-farm auction, which will also be livestreamed, will take place at midday on November 16 at Stony Creek Farm, 61 Raukawa Road, Walton.

THE sale of elite in-milk cows from New Zealand’s highest BW crossbred herd is expected to attract strong interest from dairy farmers across the country.

NZ Farmers Livestock agent Ollie Carruthers says the cows at Stony Creek Farm at Walton, near Matamata include 16 contract-mated in-milk cows, with a breeding worth (BW) of 285, production worth (PW) 349 and recorded ancestry (RA) 100%.

“There is also a whole line of 120 quality crossbred G3 cows BW 234 PW 293 and RA 100%,” Carruthers said.

“The 12th highest BW crossbred cow in New Zealand, with BW 370, is also included in the sale.”

Carruthers says the herd’s top national BW rating for a crossbred herd is based on LIC’s Animal Evaluation data.

He says the mixed-age herd has produced 327kg of milksolids per cow.

“Which seems modest until you consider they have produced this on steep country. Seeing the land they’re coming off – combined with their BW – is all the reassurance farmers need to know these cows represent a spectacular investment. They will move exceptionally well and add tremendous value to any herd,” he said.

Vendor Ben Watson says the cows have been farmed under a low-input System 2, with a stocking rate of 3.3 cows a hectare on very steep country.

“We could milk two cows per ha and produce 550 MS per cow with the feed available on the farm, but this is almost impossible to achieve on the hills by a non-owner operator.

“Our cows use a lot of energy to walk the hills and harvest the grass. They are fed mostly pasture and PKE and maize, which is grown on-farm. We can only mow about 10% of the milking platform on this farm and the rest is extreme hill,” Watson said.

“This is the steepest and smallest of several farms we own, but is where we invest all of our breeding pressure for maximum genetic gain.

The cows are herd tested four to five times a year and milking times are alternated as much as possible, using 10 in 7, or 10 milkings in seven days, and once-a-day (OAD).

“Genetic gain is maximised by shortening the generation interval and maximising selection pressure. All of these elements, and the way these cows have been farmed, give purchasers reassurance that their BW is an accurate representation of their genetic worth and potential,” he said.

The on-farm auction, which will also be livestreamed, will take place at midday on November 16 at Stony Creek Farm, 61 Raukawa Road, Walton.

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