Lincoln farm waiting for the all clear

Lincoln University Dairy Farm cow have been found to have M. bovis after a positive milk...
Lincoln University Dairy Farm cows. Photo: Supplied
The Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) has come through largely unscathed, after Mycoplasma bovis struck the university's two research farms.

LUDF spokesperson said they had fielded several phone calls from concerned farmers, after media reports that Lincoln University has been forced to cull cows from its two research dairy farms due to M.bovis.

Confusion appeared to stem from the fact Lincoln has not two, but three dairy farms — a demonstration farm (LUDF) and two research farms, the Lincoln University Research Dairy Farm and the Ashley Dene Research and Development Station.

While LUDF had been placed under a notice of direction, it had been given the all-clear pending the results of a second blood test, the spokesperson said.

Lincoln University has said it was following a process of depopulating, decontaminating and restocking the two research farms under the guidance of the Ministry of Primary Industries' (MPI) M. bovis eradication programme.

The two research farms were confirmed as having the cattle disease in November, following bulk tank milk screening in November.

MPI M. bovis programme director Stuart Anderson said the final number of cows to be culled was still to be determined.

LUDF farm consultant Jeremy Savage said he hoped to resume the regular programme of weekly farm walks and seasonal focus days once it was given the all-clear, after moving to online sessions last year due to Covid-19.

For now the farm was subject to MPI restrictions, but the farm's management was pressing ahead with plans for its summer focus day.

It will now be held on Tuesday, February 23, at a dairy farm near Westerfield, in Mid-Canterbury.

"It's good to mix it up a bit and coming to Mid-Canterbury we can reach audiences which might normally struggle to get along to our focus days, due to milking schedules or other farm work," Mr Savage said.

There would be talks about profitability, regrassing and farming with a nitrogen cap.

The farm being visited followed similar processes to LUDF and was producing around 500kg of milk solids per cow across a 700-cow herd, Mr Savage said.


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