The Path to Dairying:
Pedigree Holstein cows since 1989. We have lifted our production from 260MS
Moved to Canterbury in 1995. We started to feed our cows better.
We have been breeding higher capacity cows that do high milk solids, so
needed to look at management of our dairy business and how we harvest the
We started 3 times a day milking in the spring peak on one farm for 10 weeks
to both gain more production and also to benefit the cows (so their udder did
not blow apart with too much milk on 2 times a day milking). This was not
people friendly and the dairy shed was running 12 hours a day.
Looking forward to 2020 – What would we need? 500-600 cows a good
business, milking 2-3 times a day with cows grazing & living outside.
Seeing the improvements in technology
Cows are not pushed (cow friendly – “free range”), cows fully fed
Cows giving 15-25 litres each milking
Taking the gamble - that the timing was right, to put robots in.
First, we bought the farm at the right price for converting to Robotics.
We over capitalized on the building (opportunity for future developments).
Our daughter wanted to do it! Always looking at doing things differently.
By 2015 we will have a good history of what can be done. By 2020 we will all
have learnt the best way.
Farm is 259 hectares – 245 effective.
Irrigated with 6 pivots, and some sprinklers will be added in time. Water is
from the Chertsey Barrhill Scheme. Irrigation came on line about 1st
December. We still have some issues with our system. We have a variable
rate on two irrigators to turn water off as it goes over lane ways – not yet