NZ Dairy Spring 2021

60 | nz dairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Paul Frecklington 1000 Jerseys averaging 617kg milk solids Dianne Malcolm P aul and Christine Frecklington have obliterated New Zealand large-herd Jersey production ex- pectations for their breed by focussing on ge- netics, feeding, and cow comfort. The couple, who own Frecklington Farms at Tangimoana in the Manawatu, last season averaged 617kg Mild Solids (MS) on 1000 Jerseys milked on their two adjoining farms year-round. One farm – managed by Steve Fissenden for the last 26 years – milks between 750 and 800 cows through a 70-bale rotary. The second farm – managed by Hayden and Tamara Bishop for the last three seasons – milks 250-270 registered Jerseys (under the prefix, Car- tref Jerseys) through a 20-a-side herringbone. The impossible is possible” Cartref Jerseys, the registered herd on the smaller farm, finished first and second respectively in the 2018 and 2019 Jersey New Zealand produc- tion awards with a 617kg MS and a 672kg MS average. Paul, 82, and Christine have travelled the world throughout their farming career with their col- leagues, studying and questioning other practises. It has profoundly impacted how they have chosen to farm in New Zealand, and allowed them to amass a legacy, which includes multiple Jerseys producing more than 900kg MS – approximately 170% of their bodyweight. On average the two herds are produc- ing an average of 125% of their bodyweight. “People say our production is impossible, but it’s not impossible,” Paul smiles. “We use high-producing bulls mainly from World Wide Sires NZ (WWS). Years ago, we found out that they milk better. The trouble was with the US breed- ing they had to also be fed more. “We realised we had a choice. We had to feed them better, or go back to the New Zealand-type Jerseys. So, we started feeding them, and that’s when we got our production.” Jerseys were part of Paul’s commitment to Christine when they got married. Her family ran Seddonville Jerseys, and she loved Jersey cows. She brought one cow with her and before long, the entire herd was Jersey. Pauls smiles when he says he did it to “keep the marriage intact.” But the reality of blending their pedigree Jerseys with the rest of the large herd took a lot of the fun out of the breeding challenges for Christine. Their solution was to operate the two herds separately – without compromising production at either dairy. “We’ve spent years getting our collective produc- tion up to over 600kg of MS,” Paul said. “It’s alright to get that production on a small herd, but to do it on these numbers is something we’re very proud of.” Genetics part of the solution Today, the foundation of the herd is sired by Sultan, Vanhalem, Valentino and Golda and those bloodlines are being joined to Chrome, JX Leonel, and JX Dashiell. The bigger herd also milks in excess of 200 Gannon daughters – favourites for Steve for their scale and their will to milk. “Our interest in US genetics eventually lead to us meeting WWS’ Kelly Powell,” Paul said. “Her com- mitment to understanding our business and farming goals was so unique that we converted the entire herd to WWS.” WWS NZ’s Manager for Sales and Marketing Craig Robertson says it is a privilege to see the genetics at work. “Their cows have such long, capacious frames, and wide open rumps which house good udders,” Craig said. “They are set up to milk and to visit and see these cows in such good condition is a credit to the entire operation.” Self-sufficient and kicking goals Paul gives plenty of kudos for their results to his committed managers. The property spans 405 hectares (1000 acres) and they are self-sufficient with the exception of Palm Kernel and Soy products. Both farms are fed with the one mixer wagon on a Partial Mixed Ration (PMR). The silage pits also service both farms, giving some practical economies of scale. The cows are fed 22kg of Dry Matter per cow per day. How that total is achieved, depends on the time of the season. Nutritionist Sue Mackie remains an important part of the farm feeding decisions. Manager of the big herd, Steve, says that grass quality is also a big part of their success. They proactively pre-mow the paddocks up to eight times every season, covering upwards of 1500ha a year. They will even pre-mow young grass at 60mm and take 10mm off. Urea is used to make grass healthy, rather than to make grass grow, and it’s spread at 40 to 50kg per ha. They also grow 70ha of Maize, which last season yielded 23-24kg DM/ ha. “Caring for our grass is the difference between a 610kg MS average per cow and 670kg MS a cow. 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Hayden Bishop runs Cartref Jerseys. Photo: Tamara Bishop. STOCKFOODS 0800 457 927