74 | nz dairy Dairy Services » Ngutuwera Holdings Second block brings opportunity to thrive Hugh DeLacy F or more than forty years the Ebeling family have been dairying on their 140ha farm in Lichfield, north of Tokoroa - in fact ever since the senior generation, Johanna and Pieter Deutz Ebeling, immi- grated to New Zealand from the Netherlands. Johanna and Pieter bought the property at Lich- field after their arrival in 1977, intent on creating a life for their family in a country with a great future for agriculture. They succeeded to the degree that several years ago they were able to acquire a second block down the road, 163ha of a bush conversion that had taken place 22 years earlier. Now in their fifth decade of farming, the Eblings trade under the name Ngutuwera Holdings. Dairy-farming in the Waikato is now “in the blood and second nature,” to son Bram Deutz Ebeling who, with wife Olivia, has lately taken over the business from his parents. “I’ve been involved in the family farming busi- ness for about 12 years, squirreling money away for years with the ultimate goal of either sharemilking somewhere or continuing the journey on the family farms. “Last season my wife Olivia and I bought the cows and leased the land off my parents and started on our own.” “It was business as usual but we were finally kicking some goals for ourselves,” Bram says. The home farm carries 450 Friesians, the other block 550, with 150-200 replacements a year through a 60:40 spring/autumn calving. It’s rolling country with annual rainfall of 1600- 1800mm, and the grass grows all year round. The Ngutuwera Holdings herd is knocking on the door of Bram’s production target of 500kgms/cow, and after hitting 480kg last year he feels he’s in with a chance of cracking the magic mark this year. The herd’s steady increase in production owes something to the determined campaign Bram and Olivia have waged against once-persistent staph aureus, the contagious and incurable mastitis that comes and goes through a cow’s lactation. Three years ago they started the process of identifying the staph aureus cows, but the process was slow so they tested the whole herd. They were horrified to discover that 30% of the herd – 220 cows – were infected. “Finding the extent of the bug in the herd was a shock but we’ve managed our way through it,” Bram says. “With the help of FIL and farm medics we sam- pled and cultured milk from every cow to identify our problem ones, and we’ve been slowly culling them out. “We hope to have it finally removed from the herd by the end of July next season.” Pond and Tank Liners Tokoroa & Districts Veterinary Services Full 24 hour Veterinary care Caring for all creatures great and small - Best Practice Veterinary Care The greatest asset we can offer you as a veterinary practice is our team of veterinarians, qualified nurses and support staff. Tokoroa Clinic Ashworth Street, Tokoroa • Ph 07 886 6119 Whakamaru Clinic 8 Tihoi Rd, Whakamaru • Ph 07 882 8094 www.tokvets.nz Ngutuwera Holdings is looking beyond dairying at beef, now that collars allow for AI all the way through mating. “Once we’ve finished with replacement AI we can play around with beef breeds - Charolais and Belgium Blue - and we’re even looking at buying sexed male beef breeds for this coming mating. “Our goal is to purchase a dry-stock block one day to complete the circle and reduce wastage in our business. “There is so much potential there,” Bram says. “Last season my wife Olivia and I bought the cows and leased the land off my parents and started on our own.” “It was business as usual but we were finally kicking some goals for ourselves.” Bram Deutz Ebeling and wife Olivia have taken over the business from his parents. The herd is knocking on the door of Bram’s production target of 500kgms/cow.