| 55 nzdairy Smart land use, the Quinedale Holstein way Hugh de Lacy It’s a long hop from the professional rugby fields of Japan to his parents’ 72ha dairy farm and stud at Taupiri, near Hamilton, but that’s the change Shneil Singh made last year, and his parents couldn’t be more delighted. Shneil played for Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese league and his return home has greatly lightened the workload of his parents, Hardeep and Balraj Singh,. Both Hardeep and Balraj were dairy farmers before their marriage, Hardeep with a herd of 75 pedigree Jersey cows and her husband being a committed Holstein Friesian farmer. Hardeep was persuaded to turn her back on the Jerseys, and today she and Balraj run a stud of 185 cows, called Quinedale Holstein-Friesians, that produce 550kg of milk solids each, well on the way to the Singhs’ production target of 600kg. “Our goal has never been about per-hectare production but about per-cow,” Balraj says. Balraj rears the calves with Shneil’s help, milking and other farm duties are shared between all three, while younger sons Jeevan and Jahan work offfarm but are available to help on the weekends. Shneil makes an important contribution to an operation that stepped up in labour demands when the Singhs built a covered feed-pad three years ago, so they could grow more pasture with less damage, and make the optimum use of supplementary feeds. The elder Singhs bought their first farm together in 1995, a 40ha block on Quine Road – from which the stud drew its name - between Morrinsville and Tahuna as a going concern carrying 100 crossbred cows. They moved to the present farm in 2000. The Quinedale stud was established in 1997 on the first farm, with 13 pedigree Holstein heifers, to which they added eight pedigree cows from Russell and Pat Wilson of Morrinsville. The original stud herd featured New Zealand bloodlines, but the Singhs have since moved on to using bulls from the Canadian and North American AI companies Semex and World Wide Sires. Calving at Quinedale is split with the autumn calving running from March 20 to the end of April, and the spring round from June 20 to the end of July. These dates allow for year-round milking that capitalises on the winter premium offered by Open Country Dairy. Balraj and Hardeep Singh (above). Quinedale Aladdin Ruba EX2 (below). DAIRY PEOPLE » Quinedale Holstein Friesians Milking is conducted twice a day in a 24-a-side herringbone shed, and the cows go onto the feedpad 30 to 40 minutes beforehand. “They are also fed meal during milking, which keeps them content while being milked,” Balraj says. There the paddock pasture is supplemented by grass silage, straw, maize and minerals combined in a mixer wagon, sometimes with a little palm kernel. As a special seasonal treat the cows also get kiwifruit, of which they are particularly fond. The stud’s aim with its North American bloodlines is to breed a “handy cow with good confirmation and a long milking life,” Balraj says. “When you’re milking cows 365 days a year you want see good-looking cows in the shed and the paddock. “Life is too short to be milking ugly cows.” 0800 HONDAS Huntly & Morrinsville Your local Honda & Husqvarna dealer Peter Glidden Honda proudly supporting Quinedale Holstein Friesians 1945 2021 Livestock Cartage Metal, Sand, Fertiliser Morrinsville/Matamata Ph 07 889 5179 | 0800 275 548 Email email@example.com 6 Office: 07-824-3565 Darren: 0274-849-496 Johnathan: 0272-219-804 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.grainandfood.co.nz AGRICULTURAL / HARVESTING / DRAINAGE & CARTAGE CONTRACTORS Big Enough to Tackle any Job; Small Enough to Care How It’s Done!