Business Rural Summer 2021

| 53 Designed by farmers for farmers Karen Phelps RURAL SERVICES » Agri-Tech Imports A gri-Tech Imports is experiencing growing de- mand, particularly from farmers in Southland, for its heavy duty interlocking rubber mats as farmers keep up with wintering regulations, which is putting strain on wood chip supplies around the country. The Agri-Tech Imports product has been de- signed by farmers for farmers for use in feed pads, wintering barns, stand off pads, cowsheds, stables, tie-ups, yards, animal handling areas, horse floats and work areas. It’s being used for a variety of animals including deer, cows, pigs and horses. Agri-Tech Imports was started by West Otago dairy farmers, owners of White River Dairies, Kyllee and Paul Henton. Their farm’s wet conditions and a concern for their cows’ comfort gave rise to the development of their rubber matting product. The couple has designed it to meet the real on-farm needs of farmers: animals have to be happy with their grip on the rubber mat, which means it needs to be able to sink under their feet a bit. The mat is 30mm thick – thicker than most products on the market - and it has its own compression pattern design underneath and is non-porous making it hygienic and easy to clean. It is even easy for farm- ers to self-install and can be removed and moved to another farm if need be in the future. Kyllee says the product should last 15-20 years. The benefits for animal health are clear: “They have a positive impact on mobility, health and animal behaviour. For cows they are comfort- able to lie down for extended periods and cows can be held off pasture on mats for longer periods than when standing on thinner rubber mats or concrete. It is also better welfare for cows in extreme weather events including snow, torrential rain and flooding if the shed or feed pad has rubber matting installed,” explains Kyllee. Other benefits include reduced lameness due to the soft surface and increased grip as walking, standing, pushing and pivoting on concrete causes white line damage due to the lateral forces being applied to the hoof and stones on concrete cause sole bruising and punctures. The mats also provide insulation from cold and humidity unlike concrete. The result is increased milk production through improved comfort, she says. It’s not only the animals that benefit – the mats are also good for humans, making work conditions much more comfortable. The benefits also extend to the wider farm as the mats protect pasture, increasing pasture yields when standoff pads are used in bad weather due to reduced pugging of soil and pasture. “It also requires nitrogen to break down the wood chips so wood chips have the effect of sucking nitrogen out of the soil,” explains Kyllee citing yet another benefit of the rubber mats. “Additionally the mats help to prevent nutrient loss by utilising exist- ing shed or feedpad/barn effluent capture systems.” She says the mats can also help increase the use of existing infrastructure as rubber used in the holding yard of the dairy shed allows that area to be used for standoff when needed making use of a pre-existing effluent collection area. Each mat is 1.8m x 1.2m x 30mm and covers 2sqm when laid and interlocked with other mats. Each piece weighs 53kg and is made from a 50:50 blend of recycled and new rubber for sustainability and durability. The product is available for immedi- ate delivery nationwide or people can order directly through Agri-Tech Imports (www. agritechimports. or via Farmlands stores. Sue Macky BVSc. (dist.) of Dairy Production Systems says reducing environmental impacts, yet maintaining production and profitability from less cows means understand- ing how cows really work, what they require in their environment, and what management and nutritional changes are needed to achieve the required effi- ciencies. Less cows but more milk per happier cow and per kilogram of dry matter eaten is the goal. “They have a positive impact on mobility, health and animal behaviour.” Designed for owners , managers , advisers and veterinarians Unique, popular, in-depth course combining classroom & on-farm practical teaching DPSL Farm Tutorial 2022-23 Workshop includes 10 x 1-day tutorial sessions (currently based in the Waikato) DPSL Farm Tutorial Workshops Tutors are DPSL principals Bryan McKay BVSc. MVSc. and Sue Macky BVSc. (dist.) DPSL is a long established, successful cow management and nutrition consultancy group BOOK NOW as places are limited  cows  business risks  farm systems  environment Successful farmers understand … Dairy Production Systems Limited | 07 858 2224 | 027 492 8212 0800 428 453 / Paul 027 244 3354 | Kyllee 027 688 8677 Paul & Kyllee Henton • DAIRY • DEER • EQUINE • PIGS • BEEF • SHEEP • ANTI-FATIGUE • WINTERING @AgriTechImportsNZ Reduced lameness is just one of the benefits of using Agri-Tech’s heavy duty interlocking rubber mats. For all your Trucking needs, call: 027 227 2324 or Proud to be associated with Agri-Tech Imports