DairyNZ developer Steve Lee (left) watches while Lincoln
University Dairy Farm manager Peter Hancox gives a season
update at the farm's spring focus day last week. Photo by
The Lincoln University Dairy Farm is in good shape,
despite early season challenges.
DairyNZ developer Steve Lee and farm manager Peter Hancox
told farmers at last Thursday's spring focus day that milk
production was up and pasture production on track despite the
heifers returning to farm for six weeks due to flooding, a
cold September and last month's storm.
''We have had a bit of a roller-coaster season so far, but
we're pretty happy with the way things are going. The cows
are in good condition and we are now well situated to grow
good quality pasture. It has been an interesting year,'' Mr
The farm's heifers made an unscheduled return to the milking
platform for six weeks in June,
grazing on a farm at Lakeside when flooding occurred at Lake
Ellesmere. ''Peter came back from holiday and had to do quite
a bit of juggling to cope with the heifers coming back,'' Mr
''One of the key things we saw was while we didn't have a
huge amount of rain, the ground was very slow to dry out, but
August was really kind to us in terms of our recovery from
having those heifers back for six weeks and the pasture was
However, Mr Lee said the dip in temperature in mid-September
meant the silage wagon was brought out to keep milk
production up. Despite the mixed season, Mr Hancox said milk
production was 2.5% on the corresponding time last year.
There were fewer animal health issues so far this season,
with just 27 cases of cow lameness compared with nearly 70 at
the corresponding time last year.
Cases of mastitis were also well down, with 23 compared with
nearly 40 last season, Mr Hancox said. ''We only lost one
milking with the power cut from the storm and we had eight
cows with mastitis the following week, so it had a bit of
Winter grazing costs were $11,693 over budget due to higher
market costs for grazing, but other costs were tracking
according to budget.
- David Hill.