Calving is about to get under way and the team at Lincoln is
With calving due to get under way at Lincoln University Dairy
Farm over the next week, farm manager Peter Hancox told
farmers at a DairyNZ Wintering for Success field day at
Oxford earlier this month he was ''quite happy with where
''Not all the cows are going to calve on August 1 and we are
pretty confident that every cow will be 5 BCS [body condition
score] at calving.
''Some will be calving in late September, so we are confident
they will get there.''
The farm's management has made some changes before this
season, as it attempts to meet its goal of maximising a
sustainable profit while maintaining (or reducing) the farm's
The herd has been reduced from 620 cows to 560 and the farm
is implementing the pastoral 21 system which has been
successfully trialled at the Lincoln University Dairy
South Island Dairy Development Centre executive director Ron
Pellow said this season's stocking rate would be three and
a-half cows a hectare instead of five cows/ha.
''It is a system which requires low inputs. It is about
running the smallest number of cows to get the biggest
production we can achieve.
''We want to be able to say that we can replicate this, so
you can do it too. At a catchment level, we are wintering
fewer cows so the impact is less.
''So if we can have the same productivity and profitability
then that is our goal. It's not about a low stocking system,
it's about matching the feed to the stock and getting the
best out of them.''
Mr Hancox said issues for the farms over the coming weeks
included achieving target grazing residuals and managing
pasture cover ahead of calving, using back fences on all
herds grazing in a paddock more than 36 hours, managing
ground conditions to minimise damage, monitoring cows to
ensure they met their targets ahead of calving and completing
- by David Hill