NZ Dairy Autumn 2022

28 | nzdairy “This season we calved 210 cows, fifty percent of which are large freisen and the rest kiwi cross.” Tricky soil no match for ingenuity Richard Loader DAIRY PEOPLE » Luke & Sunny Oud Northland farmer Luke Oud says dairy farming is a great industry to be in, with so many opportunities. Luke and his wife Sunny are the fourth generation to farm the land that has been in Luke’s family since his maternal great-grandfather bought it in 1913. Located on the fertile flats of Northland near the small township of Ruawai, the 75-hectare effective farm is made up of Kaipara clay, a wet marine clay that is challenging to manage during peak grass growth in winter and spring. The farm is supported with a 66-hectare hilly runoff 15 kilometres away that is used for young stock and growing supplement. Luke’s passion for dairy farming is born from the idea of raising his family on the farm, taking great pride in what he does as a farmer and being able to showcase what he and Sunny have achieved with the land, the animals and their farming business. “Growing up on this farm with very limited equipment my bother and I both developed the skills to fix anything at all — to make something out of nothing and make it work. With it has come the progression of farming, setting and achieving goals to grow our farming business.” Luke’s passion for making things work spilt over to a previous life when he completed an engineering trade after leaving school. But it was a passion of the heart that directed him to Australia in 2008 when Sunny, his girlfriend at the time, crossed the Tasman with her parents. Replete with a young family, Luke and Sunny returned to the family farm in 2016 to take up a long thought out plan of being a dairy farmer and enjoy the lifestyle farming can provide a family. “Sunny and I started out very green and went into contract milking for my parents. We participated in Northland’s E350 mentoring program, as well as taking any other opportunities for learning. The E350 programme was really the making of us in terms of developing the level of farm management knowledge we now have. With the goal of farm ownership we were keen to learn more and moved to 50/50 herd owners in 2019/20. I also had a very good friend who is a successful dairy farmer and who has been a great mentor over the years.” Very early in Luke and Sunny farming career they were shown the benefits of a Kiwi cross herd, particularly with the wet environmental conditions they faced, and now all the herd are mated with LIC kiwi cross. “This season we calved 210 cows, fifty percent of which are large freisen and the rest kiwi cross. The plan is to eventually have all kiwi cross.” In 2019 a herd home was added to the farm’s infrastructure and calving date moved forward to the 25th of June, allowing on/off grazing for drys, springers, and milkers through winter. “It allows us to feed cows and take them off wet conditions and provide better grass and ground management. It also provides protection from the heat in the summer months. They can stand in there in the heat of the day and eat.” Willem, Max, Lilah (front), Luke, Sunny Oud (above). Lilah, Luke, Max, Willem (below). Proudly supporting Luke & Sunny Oud For accounting services call us on 0800 438 393 or visit Our advice has been trusted by Northlanders for over 30 years. By offering solutions tailored to suit each client we help to unlock their true potential and be the best they can be. Dargaville 09 439 8415 Wellsford 09 423 8674 Whangarei 09 438 7038 Water Enabling the ow Dairy Feeding the world E uent Spreading the good • Sales • Service • Installation • Design