NZ Dairy Summer 2021

34 | nzdairy DAIRY PEOPLE » David Wood Shorthorns Good natured and productive shorthorns David enjoys milking shorthorns, saying if they are fed well and looked after well, they will produce well. Kelly Deeks Still enjoying milking New Zealand’s first dairy breed is David Wood of Palmerston North, who is getting the best out of his good natured, good producing milking shorthorns, and mating every one of his rising twos to a red sire. Shorthorns were the first dairy cows to arrive in New Zealand, brought across to the Bay of Islands from New South Wales by Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1814. Their size and strength and submissive nature made them the ideal draught animal, and they helped to break in the country while providing good milk and excellent meat. Shorthorn herds were established by the early 1840s, and for a long time they were New Zealand’s most popular cattle breed. The focus on the milking shorthorn breed was established with the introduction of overseas milking genetics, and this led to the New Zealand Milking Shorthorn Association being established in 1913. Today, descendants from these early cows may now include other red breeds to increase the production and the efficiency of the milking shorthorn. At David and Johanna Wood’s Northbrook stud at Hiwinui, he has introduced red animal genetics from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, going further afield to widen his genetic base and get other genetic material. “We’ve got to be careful with the genetics you bring in from overseas,” David says. “Overseas they generally get paid per litre of milk, so they’re pushing for litreage and they aren’t very concerned about fat and protein. We can quite easily lose our fat and protein content if we’re not careful. That’s why we’ve used some overseas blood and brought that into our herd, and now we’re crossing back with our New Zealand blood to make sure we don’t lose those shorthorn characteristics.” David enjoys milking shorthorns, saying if they are fed well and looked after well, they will produce well. P 06 323 0255 M 027 928 8630 W - On Farm Service - New and Used Sales - Fully Equipped Workshop OWNERS/OPERATORS Ryan & Tracey Badger Ryan 027 445 1997 Tracey 027 631 9699 SERVICES ■ Full Round Baleage and Hay Services ■Full Square Baleage and Hay Services ■ Fine Chop Grass and Maize Silage ■ Ploughing / Discing / Levelling ■ Race / Track Maintenance and Digger Work ■ Grass and Stubble Mulching ■ Airseeder/Roller / Drill Direct Drill ■ Precision Maize Planting ■4wd Fert Truck Pohangina Valley to Shannon & Pahiatua to Rongotea Areas COVERING FROM PKF Rutherfords Ltd 06 350 7900 | Our Mission “caring for you” PKF Rutherfords are proud to support David & Johanna Wood Shorthorns 06 323 0309 | Logan 027 224 7679 | Aaron 027 224 7677 | Peter 027 224 7678 He says he has sold cattle to farmers all over New Zealand, and they have milked well in all conditions. “It’s partly the cow and the genetics, but it’s also your contribution and the way you care for that animal,” he says. They are a hardier cow that will go and look for a feed in the paddock rather than stand at the gate and wait to be fed. David has noticed, when going around the country he has seen a lot of cows standing in the middle of the paddock in the heat of the day, while his cows are still spread to the corners of the paddock. “I believe their red colour has some heat resistance compared to other breeds.” This season, like every season, David has used young bulls from the New Zealand Milking Shorthorn Association’s sire proving scheme, but has also used two Canadian milking shorthorn bulls and a Viking Red Bull from Samen Genetics. “It’s a combination of Swedish and Norwegian Red which I selected from the catalogue based on its close resemblance to our cows.” David is the third generation of his family working the Hiwinui farm and with his son Karl and daughter Anja working with him on the farm, they are attuned to the importance of mating time. “Then when it’s calving time, it’s really exciting to see those young ones born, because they are your future.”