There are many pros attached to winter milking.

Split calving: Making the switch

Waikato dairy farmers Paul and Donna Davies spotted the opportunities of winter milking a decade ago. The couple have been split-calving ever since, but this year have moved to 100% autumn calving with the help of their contract milker Sam Clarke. Sheryl Brown reports. Cows can get lost in a split-calving system and it’s easy for farmers to carry empty …

In market: a 1kg pack of a New Zealand-made pet food on sale in a Californian store for US$60.

Pet food driver in venison value

Andrew Swallow Deer farmers have wealthy people’s pampered pooches to thank at least in part for an unprecedented period of $10-plus venison schedules. At a field day for suppliers to Canterbury-based processor Mountain River last month several in-market distributors referred to the growing demand from pet food manufacturers and how it is driving values due to increased competition for a …

Amy Hoogenboom with the Massey farm deer in for blood sampling during her week on the Massey farm services roster.

Count down to a career

Massey University veterinary student Amy Hoogenboom looks forward to completing her final year of studies and a working life. Well, here I am, the beginning of the end. The end of late-night study, early morning lectures and too many exams. The beginning of Sunday night foreign body removals, early morning calving call outs and too much paperwork. The end of …

Equity Partners Richard Wright and Tony Coltman tracking progress of the new effluent pond.

Power of the partnership

A pioneering Canterbury dairy equity partnership has gone from strength to strength. Anne Lee reports. Twenty years after its conversion Canlac Holdings is still a model for what can be achieved on an irrigated Canterbury dairy farm in terms of profit, business growth and progression. It’s one of the country’s longest-running and most-successful equity partnerships with enduring relationships and innovative …

Truck spreading fertiliser. No shortage of phosphate but nitrogen fertilisers likely to rise in price.

Smarter fert on the way

In the first of a series on future influences affecting agriculture in the short, medium and long-term, NZ Dairy Exporter writers look at what is in store for the fertiliser use on farms. Lynda Gray reports. Smarter fertilisers will be developed but exactly what form they will take is still a bit of an unknown, Ravensdown innovation and strategy general manager …

‘We do well on Fonterra’s capacity adjustment charge because we produce a lot of milk in the shoulders of the season,’ Logan Hewlett says. Photos: Malcolm Pullman

Split calving: Longer milking, efficient feeding

After running a split-calving system for 20 years the Hewlett family moved to an extended lactation system. Glenys Christian reports. Northland dairy farmer, Graeme Hewlett, often talked about how an English exchange student once mentioned 500-day milking to him. But it wasn’t until his son, Logan, came home to share milk on their Mata farm that the idea turned into …