Grass, but done very well.
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
I went to a friend of mines' James and Lucy Muir's farm near Stafford the other day. He was on his final rotation for 2019. So with the farm all set up so , a well deserved holiday Stateside for the whole family James, Lucy and the 3 boys, was in store
The weather had not helped and it has been raining a huge amount previously, but this hadn't deterred the grass utilisation,which was awesome.The residuals were not to James's liking but after many days of torrential downpours, they were more than exceptable. This means residuals have been good previously or the whole system goes to pieces, as cows reject grass,soon as it rains !
The farm has 400 crossbred NZ dairy cows, the yield is about 6000 litres from 800 kg of cake depending on the season. The milk solids amount to 528 kg of fat and milk protein and cows liveweight is around that figure.Therefore the measure of MS: Lwt is 100% which is a figure we all aspire to.Well done guys , and a good job you're on a decent Arla contract that pays you for your milk solids.
The farm was originally farmed by father in law,Steve Brandon up until about a decade ago, but the cow breeding shows with best NZ sires used and cows selected on fertility and production.
James,Lucy and the team are doing a fantastic job. The herd is spring calved in 12 weeks in February onwards, with a lower empty rate than usual at 10% and a big percentage in the 6 week calving period. The extra headaches of TB and rearing bull calves are all taken in the teams stride. Although extra buildings are being fitted prior to the winter period.
I saw this years calves grazing paddocks in the damp conditions,while looking in fine health.They had covers of 3000 kg dam ha to go into and obviously great residuals. This helps instill the need to graze into the animal and makes for a grazing cow later on. At birth the calves are treated the same being male or female. Fed colostrum, weighed and tagged. the weighing carries on monthly and any poor doers fed extra.
The team are kept informed by regular meeting and details put on the white board.
This is a really grassy farm,helped by superb management and 200 kg of nitrogen.Grass is built up over a slower rotation prior to end of September, when the target is 2700 kg dm ha.
Growth has been in the forties and demand is 35 with 2 kg cake. I would estimate at least 10p a litre CFP is gained on this farm proving the numbers stack up well, if top management is applied.
If you're going to dairy farm New Zealand style, then this is the way to do it !
Make money, have plenty of family time and employ a great team, while producing a great product.
PS James, Lucy and the team at Muir Farming have had their work recognised in The Cream awards, Grass Manager of the year 2020 in February this year.