NZ Dairy Summer 2021

| 71 nzdairy Jersey cow has a lot to offer NZ farming Kelly Deeks With an increasing involvement in the family farm and long-standing Jersey stud Leithlea, Jay and Kelly Luckin are set to allow their parents Tony and Maureen some some hard-earned time off to follow their dreams. “Jay and Kelly have got a major influence here at the moment,” Tony says. For Tony, it is always good to have someone taking an interest and taking notice of breeding cows, and now in his twilight years of breeding, he feels he and Maureen are exceptionally lucky to have another couple to take over. “It’s really a two-person job. Kelly’s major role on the farm in Okato, coastal Taranaki in the spring is rearing the calves, and she does a fantastic job. We’re finding now that the young cows coming into the herd have done most of their growing due to the extra care she has been taking of rearing those calves, and we are getting that benefit there. It’s a team effort.” Jay could potentially bring a different view of the type of cow he would like to breed, but Tony says he seems pretty happy with the herd as it is. “He may choose one or two bulls a wee bit different than what I would. A few years ago when we went away to a conference, we were doing AB at the time and I didn’t give him any instructions. One of the first things I did when we got home was look at the AB book to see which cows have been put to which bulls, and he’d done things a bit different to what I would have done, but the results were just as good as what I could do.” Tony says the Jersey cow has a lot to offer New Zealand farming, with her low carbon footprint, feed conversion efficiency, and ease of handling. “She has been very kind to us, and we will continue to strive to breed Jerseys of the highest calibre, with the help of genetics from around the world.” Tony is still miking through the spring and says this year, after AB has finished, he will take a step back and hopefully be able to go and visit other studs and events around the country. Covid’s cancellations of various shows and events has been hard to bear, and in particular, Tony and Maureen can’t wait to get back to Australia for the Dairy Event, which they traditionally attend every year, then continue on with a tour of studs and cows. “Hopefully everything will come right again, but we just need to keep ourselves safe.” Leithlea has had a great season on the dairy farm, after beginning a fair way behind a record 2019/20 season. DAIRY PEOPLE » Tony Luckin “We’ve caught up and we’re just about level pegging now and gaining 5% a day. We had a few less cows calving in our peak period and it took a bit of pressure off the pasture in our critical time. We kept a nice cover on the farm and its great to see the cows have responded. It’s a great time to be in this position with the payout looking really good.” With an extra $1 per kg milksolids predicted for next year’s payment, it’s a reasonable amount of money but with costs rising across the farm’s operation, the Luckins are being mindful. “Most things we use on the farm have gone up in price, and the majority of products are harder to get because of Covid slowing down distribution. We’ve been keeping up to date with our maintenance because we just don’t want any major breakdowns. Spare parts might not be available and that could put us right back. Everything has been going pretty smoothly, and we’re pretty happy.” S A G Contracting Ltd Earthworks, Drainage and Metal Supplies. Proud to support Tony Luckin Phone Steve Gibson 027 475 2006 Supporting Regional New Zealand Is your business heading in the right direction? See us for your Agri accounting & business solutions Charlie Fava, one of the feature cows in the herd (top left). Calves (top right) Jay, Kelly, Maureen and Tony Luckin (above). YOUR ELECTRICAL AND REFRIGERATION SPECIALISTS ALL WIRING FOR COWSHEDS AND HOUSES NEW AND RENOVATION WORK REFRIGERATION FOR MILK VATS AIRCON AND HEAT PUMPS Okato 06 752 4084 Stratford 06 765 4499 Hawera 06 274 8084 Electrical & Refrigeration Ltd Opunake 761 8084 Sinclair Pleased to be working together with Tony Luckin Pleased to be a contractor of Tony Luckin