Small Changes Bring Big Savings For Dairy Farmers

NEW ZEALAND - DairyNZ launched its 2011 series of Milksmart workshops on cow behaviour and cow flow this week with events in Takaka, Murchison and Greymouth. The workshops will be held in 19 other locations throughout the country in November and December.
calendar icon 28 October 2011
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With milking taking up over half the time spent on a dairy farm, DairyNZ animal husbandry and welfare developer Chris Leach says even the smallest change in the farm dairy routine can stack up to important savings in time and money over the whole season.

“The 2011 workshops will focus on the interaction between cows, people and infrastructure and getting them working together in harmony. We need to look at the whole process starting in the paddock, the walk to the farm dairy, movement through the yard, into and out of the bail area and the return journey back to the paddock. When everything is right, people are happy, the cows are content, they move willingly and the system runs smoothly and efficiently. Good cow flow is not just desirable - it is essential if you want to be efficient.”

The workshops address how to assess a farm for cow flow, provide options for improving milking efficiency and tools to improve staff stockmanship.

Mr Leach says the workshops have been designed expressly for farm decision-makers.

“They focus on how to find and fix issues with design and work routine that affect cow flow. The content covers both rotary and herringbone sheds, as well as tools for training staff in understanding animal behaviour and good stock handling.”

Workshops are free-of-charge for levy-paying farmers and their farm managers, however prior registration is essential.

The presenters:

The 2011 Milksmart workshops will be presented by a team of New Zealand’s leading experts including:

Dr Neil Chesterton
Neil is a veterinarian in Inglewood, specialising in cow flow and the prevention of lameness. In recent years, this interest has focused on the importance of herd management on the farm tracks and in the milking shed.

Mel Eden
Mel is a milk harvesting specialist based in the Waikato and provides advice on all aspects of milking, dairy design, milking machines, milking efficiency and mastitis control.

Aiden Bichan
Aiden is a Carterton-based farm management consultant who provides specialist support to dairy conversions on planning, development and dairy shed design.

Resources, information and tools are available on the website to address problem areas, improve efficiency, help with staff training and promote good practice.

For more information visit

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