NZ Dairy Summer 2021

62 | nzdairy Reducing the calving spread and better Russell Fredric Transitioning from a builder to a dairy farmer has been a steep learning curve for JasonBrock. Jason and his mother Pam have farmed a 295 hectare, 700 cow dairy unit at Wallacetown near Invercargill since his father and Pam’s husband, Stephen, died 10 years ago aged 53 when Jason was 23. Stephen and Pam converted the farm converted to dairy in 1994 and farmed it until it was leased for nine years before management returned to Pam in 2016. After leaving school, Jason worked as a builder for 10 years before testing the waters on another two dairy farms before taking on the manager’s role on the home farm. He has now worked on the home farm for four seasons and is in his third season as a contract milker. It’s been a hard and fast learning curve. “When you are younger you think you know it all until you actually start doing it day-to-day. It’s definitely been quite a journey,” Jason says. About 50ha of the 295ha is put into winter crops with a further 100ha comprising three blocks, two of which boundary the home farm, providing additional support. Cows are milked through a 50 bale rotary shed with in-shed feed, automatic cup removers and a Protrack drafting system. Pam, who has also had to come to grips with the running of the farm, oversees calf rearing as well as managing the support blocks. The pair have the help of a mentor who is usually on the farm once a week and are always open to making changes aimed at creating efficiencies and improve profitability. During the past few seasons several changes have been implemented, one of which has been to reduce the calving spread to a more compact time frame. Niece Charlee with dog Tan, alongside Jason and Pam. DAIRY PEOPLE » River Edge Dairies: Jason & Pam Brock DOUG HORRELL CONTRACTING PHONE DOUG MOBILE: 0274 331 335 Visit for more info Progressive Livestock lives up to its name, delivering progressive solutions for a diverse range of clients PROUD TO BE SUPPORTING RIVER EDGE DAIRIES LTD · Livestock Specialist · Buying and Selling · Grazing Contracts · Valuations · Auctions and Clearance Sales · Bull Plan Finance Options · Exporting For all your livestock requirements please contact Layne Morresey 027 442 2780 “We’ve been working the last few years trying to condense that a wee bit and we’ve brought it to almost two weeks shorter.” With the introduction of Allflex collars into the herd August last year the Protrack system was subsequently upgraded in November to allow for better electronic linking to the collars. “It made it a lot easier, we could draft two ways instead of one with the old system.” The collars enable reproduction and health monitoring along with overall herd monitoring. “There’s two computers in our office, one’s for the collars, it picks up any of the cows that are on heat and anything like that, and it sends it through to the other computer for the Protrack to draft it.” Despite some initial apprehension about introducing the collars, Jason and Pam are very happy with the outcome. • to page 64 Covering Hawkes Bay and Ruapehu - Call us for all your Regional Connectivity requirements 0800 100 534 | | Their herd is predominantly Friesian, but during the past two years some of the bigger cows, up to about 600 kilograms, have been crossed with Kiwicross genetics to reduce the size of their progeny. The cows are exclusively artificially inseminated. Last season’s production totalled 337,000kgMS