Client Feedback

Having in the past had vets who had very poor communication skills and getting information was like pulling teeth! We now have vets who have very good people skills, they give information freely and keep us informed at all times. We have an excellent relationship with all of our vets, this comes when your practice is not too big and your customers have names not numbers. We are very grateful we made the move to The Cow Vets.

Phil & Delwyn Dombroski | Farm owners, Te Miro

strategic planning & farm modelling

Some farm businesses may not feel that they are getting a satisfactory return for their effort. For instance, the cash returns and asset growth from the farm business don't balance with the hours and commitment that the owners put in. An unbalanced "work-life" ratio is known to negatively affect work satisfaction and motivation and, if it remains unbalanced in the long term, can lead to reduced farm productivity and stress. In many cases the farm system itself may be the area of concern.For example, it requires a different set of skills to manage a low intensity, high stocked farm than it does a high input farm. The latter can still be run effectively, but it requires a greater level of sophistication and closer monitoring. How do you know whether your choice of farming systems is the best for your business?

Do you:

  • Currently farm in a way that best suits your capabilities and resources?
  • Believe the farm is being run to its potential?
  • Feel that you have the farm work under control?
  • Compromise productivity because you cannot resource tasks as well as you would like?
  •  Feel frustrated by the endless list of daily tasks?

Choosing the best farming system for your dairy business is a major and ongoing management task. It requires re-assessment based on changing input costs, milk prices, seasonal conditions and needs of the people involved.

Often it is the fear of the unknown that prevents us from making changes to the way we work. We are happy in our comfort zone because we usually have a consistent and predictable outcome. Change brings with it risk, and most of us tend to be risk averse.

That's where we can help. We use technology like FARMAX software to help model changes to your farm system, including financial implications, with surprising accuracy. In fact independent validation has confirmed Farmax Dairy Pro is highly accurate (within 20 kg milksolids/ha and 6 kg milksolids/cow over a season).

Case Study 1—Rolling to step farm, 50:50 Sharemilker

Our client is a 50:50 sharemilker, so we had to work with both the owner and the sharemilker to ensure that the goals and outcomes of any changes were compatible with their expectations. The goals we were working towards included increasing milk production in a profitable manner, reducing animal health costs and improving reproductive performance. The shed had an in-shed feeding system that had not been used in the previous season.

Goals = Improve reproductive performance, increase production, increase profitability.

Changes modelled included dropping the stocking rate, milking half the herd once a day from calving, using in-shed feed system with basic blend.

2009-10

Model

2010-11

2011-12

Farm Size

168ha

168ha

168ha

168ha

Cows in Milk

430

410

410

410

Production

87,000 kgMS

120,000

110,000

122,000

Empty Rate

25%

n/a

7%

10%
(mostly old cows)

Cidr Usage (09-10)

188

n/a

66

30

 

Case Study 2 - Rolling contour, Farm Manager, Fr x cows

This farm installed an in-shed feed system with molasses, and also has access to pasture silage, some lucerne silage and maize silage.

Goals = Increase production, utilise supplement feeds in most profitable way, improve reproductive performance (less empties, shorter more compact calving).

Changes included dropping stocking rate, increased feeding levels (minimum daily intakes set), diet formulation based on feed costs to maximize profitability.

 

2007-08

Model

2011-12

Farm Size

60ha

60ha

60ha

Cows in Milk

225

210

210

Production

72,500 kgMS
(farm record, Intelact system)

94,000

92,000

Empty Rate

10%

 

8%

Supplement Feeds used

Maize silage, pasture silage, PKE

Meal, Molasses, Maize silage, pasture/lucerne silage