A strong focus on herd fertility
Mick Magan doesn't come from a low-cost dairy background. Some 15 years ago, Bunacloy Holsteins was one of the top pedigree Holstein herds in the country with yields close to 10,000 litres per cow.
That's part of the reason that the set-up isn't a classic low-cost spring calving system.
"We're a bit of a hybrid here because we do buffer-feed the cows maize silage, and maintain a herd average of 7,000 litres. But costs are still at 20c/l or less," says Magan.
"I haven't gone the route of cross-breeding, and the herd is still a mainly Holstein herd.
"But there has been a big switch in emphasis to making sure that our cows are fertile.
"I can see the difference first-hand because I still keep a couple of really highly bred Holsteins out of the love for the whole pedigree breeding scene that I grew up with," he says.
"There's five or six cows there that I keep around the shed and bring out to shows.