NZ Dairy Winter 2022

| 55 nzdairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Hayden & Alecia Lawrence Effluent upgrade, smart tech aid business Karen Phelps An upgrade to the farm ef uent system means Hayden and Alecia Lawrence will probably no longer need to purchase fertiliser for the 40ha ef uent area of the property. They admit it was a signi cant investment to close off the discharging aspect of their three-pond system but along with a travelling irrigator they can now disperse nutrients when they want and at the right levels for maximum bene t for both their business and the environment. They have always been at the forefront of making improvements where they see value. Around two years ago they invested in smaXtec, which Hayden says has revolutionised the way they farm by helping them to better understand their cows. They have been using the technology to help them with early detection in the areas animal health, reproduction and feeding management via a bolus inserted in the cow that sits inside the cows’ reticulum giving true rumination data by measuring contractions and actual internal temperature. Calving alerts that give an alert 24-48 hours before birth have been a huge labour saver over the calving period and means they can run a larger springer mob and con dently draft out those that are due to calve when they come back to the feed pad each day. At mating its enabled easier detection of which cows are in heat with a 12% empty rate after nine weeks of AI. Animal health has bene ted as they can pick up mastitis and milk fever often before animals even start to show symptoms enabling early treatment and better outcomes for cows and production. It’s also opened up options for organic treatments to reduce antibiotic use. At the same time they built a DeLaval 24 aside parallel parlour, which has reduced their labour in the shed from 18 hours per day to four hours. This has been achieved through fast throughput by ensuring cow traf c runs smoothly, milking equipment performs optimally, and that milking is fast and effective. The couple farm 151ha effective/175 total located between Eltham and Hawera milking a herd of 400 predominantly Friesian cows. They have moved towards a zero bobby calf policy by using Wagyu genetics over heifers and as the main beef breed on the farm. They rear around 100-120 Wagyu beef calves to 90 kilograms for First Light Wagyu giving diversi cation to their business. Hayden grew up on the dairy farm and is the second generation to farm the land, doubling the size of the operation in the last ve years. He went to Massey University and completed a degree in agricultural engineering to Ph.D. level. As part of his studies he ended up developing the tow behind pasture meter, which has become a staple tool for many farmers around the world, which is manufactured by C-Dax. Alecia works as a cardiology specialist nurse at New Plymouth Hospital. She rears the calves and lls in as needed on the farm. They have three children: Fletcher, 10, Finn, 9 and Emelia, 7. The Lawrences split calve to gain the Fonterra winter milk premium. A herd manager is employed. The production potential of the farm is 220,000 kgMS, which Hayden thinks is possible with further tweaks to their system. The Lawrence’s DeLaval 24-aside parallel parlour has drastically reduced labour time in the shed while the smaXtec technology has revolutionised the way the couple farm. 06 278 4902 • • Milking Systems • Cooling Systems • Drafting Systems • Feed Systems • Water Pumps • Pools & Spas • Effluent Systems BETTER DAIRY SOLUTIONS SYSTEMS Home Of At Lloyd Gernhoefer agricultural contracting, we o er you a wide range of Agricultural services. Call Lloyd now for your 2022 season requirements. 027 446 0443 19a King Edward St, Eltham o Hayden&Alecia Lawrence Peter Laurence 027 252 2174