NZ Dairy Winter 2022

16 | nzdairy Chronicling farm Sue Russell “The YouTube channel has 14,500 subscribers, so there are a lot of people seeing how my farming life unfolds. They ask lots of questions and I think it’s just such a great thing.” DAIRY AWARDS » Andrew Macky Waikato Dairy Manager of the Year, Andrew Macky oversees a dairy unit right on the boundary of Te Awamutu, near one of the district’s peat lakes called Nga Roto. It was Andrew’s rst time entering the prestigious annual event, so he wasn’t really sure what to expect. The rst round by judges was a visit to the farm, a 20 minute presentation followed by a hour farm tour of a few certain things they needed to see. “You could do the presentation any way you wished to show-case the farm and give a sense of what you had achieved in your time on it,” Andrew explains. In the regional nals, once through the preliminary rounds, judges do ask speci c questions. Andrew says it was a thoroughly positive experience and well worth the time and effort. “I would recommend anyone having a go at it. I think whether you make it through to the nal ve of the section there’s still valuable learning and experiences and you meet great people.” The Macky family has been in the Paterangi district for around 150 years, and Coshquin was originally purchased by Andrew’s great grandfather in 1912 who sold another farm down the road to move closer to the train station so the likes of Andrew’s Grandfather could catch the train and go to boarding school in Hamilton during the week. The farm covers 96ha and a further 3ha is leased. In the district, Andrew says, the farm is probably a little smaller than average. “All the four generations have been interested in Jerseys. They have a lighter frame and are easy to handle. “This season, though, it’s been really hard with not enough rain. In the last ve months we’ve had just two rainfall events of any signi cance.” In fact, April was so dry, its been the driest on record through the farm’s long history. Drying off this year took place three weeks earlier than usual, given the lack of good pasture and calving was due to start on the 18 July. “They are easy calvers and have very low metabolic issues. We milk once a day all season. Waikato Dairy Manager of the Year Andrew Macky. Dad shifted to once a day about eight seasons ago and hasn’t looked back.” Andrew has only been back on the home farm four seasons and he’s enjoying working on the familiar land, saying there’s absolutely no reason why the farm can’t be pro table on a OAD system. Dad, William, has very much stepped back from being the boss allowing Andrew to pretty well manage everything. The farm has changed from a system 1 to a system 2, growing 6ha of maize on farm, buying in another 25t/DM and 80t of palm kernel. A further 4ha is planted in chicory to feed to the other lower producing herd. “We peak milk about 320 cows split into two herds, the high and low producing groups and they’re fed differently with the aim of lifting the overall milk solids.” Andrew admits the 16-aside herringbone shed is far too small for the number put through. But being OAD it isn’t too bad and he is looking to extend the pit in the near future. He’s also delved into his connection with social media by creating Youtube videos and an Instagram page for viewers to follow. It’s a chance, Andrew says, to show simply and honestly, what day to day dairy farming is like and he’s been overwhelmed with the response, with well over 5000 Instagram followers from South America, the UK and throughout New Zealand. “The YouTube channel has 14,500 subscribers, so there are a lot of people seeing how my farming life unfolds. They ask lots of questions and I think it’s just such a great thing. “We farm in a country where the cows are outside, enjoying the grass and crops grown; that’s a very different experience to many dairying countries in the world.” Andrew lms his videos and posts them on a Tuesday and a Friday each week and looks forward to the questions and feedback they create. Asked where-to from here Andrew says he likes the Waikato and doesn’t plan to go too far, if at all. “I’ve been really impressed with the replacements that are owing through in the last couple of seasons but as a whole I still have a long way to go with improvements I know I can make. This season we produced 96,000kgMS, Somatic Cell Count below 150,000 and an empty rate of 5.8% for a 10 week mating.” Congratulations Andrew Macky We give farmers absolute EQPƂFGPEG KP VJGKT OKNMKPI operations 24/7. TE AWAMUTU PUTARURU OTOROHANGA 07 871 6781 07 883 3423 07 873 8500