NZ Dairy Summer 2021

| 45 nzdairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Justin Pigou Zero bobby calves goal for Pamu complex Richard Loader Justin Pigou is Business Manager for Pamu (Landcorp’s) Waitepeka Complex, based in South Otago. The complex comprises three farms. Waitepeka Farm, 185 effective ha and rears 300 replacements to weaning and 400 Dairy Beef calves to weaning and produces silage and a kale crop for late winter grazing as cows return from grazing off. The Landsdown Dairy carries 680 cows and Dunns Dairy (700 cows), each dairy served through a 50 bail rotary. Dunns Dairy, the property of focus for discussion with Justin, has a 268ha effective footprint. The kiwicross herd is wintered off farm (400 cows) with a grazier and in two herd homes (150 in calf heifers and 150 mixed age cows) to give pasture a break from hoof traffic, particularly through the wetter months. The farm has an aim of one day being bobby calf free, mainly driven by market forces, as Justin explains. “Consumers perspectives on bobby calves is not a good look. Our aim is to get to zero bobby calves by between 2025 and 2030. It is a difficult one. The market for Dairy beef animal is not quite there yet. All our Dairy beef stock are sent away to our livestock farms where they are either raised to finish before the their second winter or sold as stores. All heifers bred are mated using AI for their first cycle. The top 50% of cows go to either a kiwicross or Friesian bull. Dunns Dairy uses Landcorp’s owned Focus Genetics. Focus Genetics has the rights to Stabilizer Genetics. The farm’s breeding programme is part of a trial with Beef & Lamb and DairyNZ. Results so far have been impressive. In the B + LG Dairy Beef Progeny Trial, Stabilizers achieved an average 281 gestation and 36kg birth weight, making them 6% lighter than average at birth. This lighter weight did not impact on weaning period which was the same as other dairy cross calves. “Stabilizer dairy beef calves were between 3-5% heavier than average at 200-600 days of age and achieved 4% greater carcass weight.” Superior marbling qualities were also evident at slaughter with an average 15% greater marbling score. Stabilizers produce calves that are either red, black or a combination of both. They are easily distinguished from dairy calves by their polled status. General feedback is that Stabilizer calves are generally more vigorous at birth and are easily trained feeders and grow faster and it is that growth and efficiency of the Stabilizer breed that aligns well with industry compliances to reduce Green House Gas emissions across all beef farming systems. Dunns Dairy employs four full-time farm-workers, including a manager. In fact each of the farms in the Waitepeka Complex has a dedicated manager and staffing has been at its current level for the last five years. Photos: Visitors learn about development of Wetlands at Pamu’s Waitepeka complex in South Otago. Dunns Dairy manager Neil Casey. Stabilizer calves on the feeder. “Stabilizer dairy beef calves were between 3-5% heavier than average at 200-600 days of age and achieved 4% greater carcass weight.” NDREW AULAGE2011 Ltd A H Phone 03 418 1299 For professional friendly service: • Effluent Ponds • Site Preparation • Roading • Root-Raking • Dairy Conversions • Aggregates & Topsoil • Trucks • Dozers • Graders • Rollers • Diggers • Bulk Wood Chipper • Drainage • Underpasses • Excavation • Forestry Roading • Supplying Concrete Corner Eden and Elderlee Streets, Milton 9220 03 417 8485 Livestock Cartage Specialists • Fertiliser • Rock/Metal • Bulk Cartage • Wool / Timber SILAGE · CULTIVATION · HAY DIRECT DRILLING Jason Lyders PH: 027 438 5140 Specialising in low cost quality pit silage. Four 35mm chop loader wagons available this season. We are also operating a Taege Direct Drill. Justin’s role is to link with each units manager and to process the administrative functions, oversee and monitor the budget and plan for future farm developments. “This is a model that works well. Due to our herd size we are not quite at 200 cows per person, only 170 as the dairy units are run as two completely separate farms in terms of staff roles.” Dunns Dairy operates a full pasture based feeding system where between 200kg – 300kg silage is made to provide additional nutrition on the shoulders. If there’s the potential for a dry period fodderbeet is also fed in Autumn. The crop is planted in November and harvested in April and September/ October There’s a strong policy of moving away from winter grazing into holding the stock in barns to ease pressure on the vulnerable pastures in the colder months. On the Dunns farm up to 300 cows can be housed inside with the balance sent away for winter grazing. Future plans extend to build a composting barn on Dunns so as to house the whole herd through winter. “A lot of our planning centres around environmental restrictions, such as the Healthy Streams policy. The support block is carbon neutral and there’s a strong push toward reducing environmental impact across all farm management processes. “We’re also involved with Otago River Care organisation and are in the process of setting up a catchment group for the local farmers. We’re doing a lot of water monitoring on the farms and have planted thousands of trees.”