5 key lessons this dairy farmer brought home from a New Zealand farm tour
Having recently spent three weeks in New Zealand on a Farm Study Tour organised by Positive Farmers, Peter Farrell brought home five key lessons he’s bringing home to his dairy farm in Co Meath.
Speaking at the recent Positive Farmers conference in Cork, the young dairy farmer spoke about the key aspects that drive success in New Zealand, after visiting farms with multi-site owners, share milkers, contract milkers and also a large-scale heifer rearing unit.
1. Focus on the basics
Many of the successful farm businesses that the group visited had placed a huge emphasis on “non-negotiables” to constantly achieve high profits, Peter explained.
These included high body weight cow, correct P and K levels, correct pre-grazing and residual levels, achieving target closing covers and correct body condition scores of cows at calving and bulling season, according to Peter.
“These farmers it was very simple, they get 4tn of grass down the cow’s throat and that was there stocking rate. So, if they could utilise 16tn of grass they could stock at 4LU/ha, if they could only utilise 12tn they stock at 3LU/ha, it was a simple as that, marginal milk wasn’t even entertained,” he said.
“No farm we went to had low soil fertility, and if we went to a new farm (recently purchased) it was corrected day one and it was allowed for in their budget when they were budgeting for these farms.”
2. Good understanding of science behind the system