NZ Dairy Summer 2021

46 | nzdairy Jersey herd makes the most sense Russell Fredric For James Courtman, the advantages of a Jersey herd are a no-brainer in today’s farm systems, especially when measured across several key benchmarks. James is in his fifth season as a partner in an equity partnership which he contract milks for on its 215ha effective, 670 cow farm near Te Kauwhata. He is also closely involved in Jersey Advantage, a not-for-profit organisation comprised of a group of motivated, successful young farmers. The group works across the areas of commercial influence, future proofing and promotions. “The breed can help, I guess, with some of New Zealand’s environmental challenges around dairy farming and the feed conversion efficiency they have over other breeds.” “You are basically measuring efficiency of outputs, which the BW (breeding worth) system is basically designed to do as well, so there is a greater chance of doing their body weight or greater than their body weight in production.” Jerseys are better at harvesting pasture than larger cows, suffer less lameness, less mastitis and have better udders, James says. “The main one is better reproductive performance.” It is estimated that Jerseys have a 3% to 4% lower empty rate than their black and white counterparts, he says. “There’s probably less energy being diverted to lactose – lactose is reasonably standard across cow breeds – so the higher volume of water and lactose you put through a cow, the more the energy requirement.” Jerseys maintain their body condition score (BCS) better during autumn, consequently they are DAIRY PEOPLE » James Courtman James Courtman is in his fifth season contract milking as a partner in an equity partnership on a 670-cow farm near Te Kauwhata more likely to calve and with the correct BCS have a smaller calf than other breeds relative to their live-weight. There are also animal welfare and environmental benefits of lower empty rates because less land is required to hold cows over or raise young stock on. Jerseys also have the “very superior” advantage of fat production. “The increase in fat values over the past four to five years means that now it’s pretty much a no-brainer from a profit point-of-view that Jerseys are a far better economic option for a farmer than the other breeds. “They’ve got about a 4% advantage on protein and an 11% advantage on fat.” James holds a Bachelor of Commerce in agriculture and has an interesting and varied background in the dairy industry, having worked in Australia and Chile. The Te Kauwhata farm is a system 2 to 3 operation which grows maize on-farm as the main source of supplement mainly for autumn to early spring with palm kernel added depending on the season. The cows are milked through a 48 a-side herringbone shed and average about 340kgMS each or 85% to 90% of their body weight for a total production of 226,000kgMS. Profit is about $1000/ha against farm working expenses of $4, however the benchmark of more 0800 888 055 | As accountants, we understand the importance of compliance for our clients. But our genuine passion is finding innovative ways for them to do better business. So let’s talk. nfd21kwRivertown Safe Power Assured ● Master Electrician • Commercial • Domestic • Industrial • Rural • 24/7 Phone (07) 828 7240 30 William St, Huntly. PO Box 164, Huntly Rivertown Electrical rural domestic commercial industrial Proudly supporting James Courtman Proudly Supporting James Courtman SILAGE – FERT SPREADING – CULTIVATION – – REGRASSING CARTAGE – PASTURE SPRAYING – MAIZE HAY 0800 4 VINING�ng