NZ Dairy Winter 2022

64 | nzdairy Taranaki couple one step closer to goal Sue Russell DAIRY PEOPLE » Kieran & Olivia Clough Taranaki dairying couple Kieran and Olivia Clough are in their 10th season farming. Last season they moved on to a new farm on Upper Stuart Road, near Eltham and into a 50:50 sharemilking situation. Kieran says farming in Taranaki is the best place in New Zealand and wouldn’t choose to farm anywhere else. The farm is 90ha, 78ha effective, and a further 14ha is leased just next door. The herd comprises 250 F16 Friesian cows who produce milk in a grass-based system. “We do use a little bit of palm kernel as an easy ller. It’s a supplement that is also easy to introduce when needed,” says Kieran. The farm is all at and carries a 20-aside herringbone shed that the couple have invested in improving somewhat, with bigger milking line and pump. “It is an old shed and there’s a fair bit of replenishing of wearing out parts, but it works well for now. We do need to put a bigger vat in.” The couple farm the property without support staff and with the addition of a new member to the family last July, life is busy. In their rst season, 112,000kgMS was produced. This year, that gure has reduced to an expected 105,000kgMS, due to drier conditions underfoot. “Most of the farm is free-draining and the pasture hasn’t been turned over for 30 years. I don’t grow any crops on the farm, but we do use a 5ha block next door where we grow supplements.” ‘ Kieran says the move to the farm has been a positive step in their farming journey and the farm hasn’t presented with any issues. The area it’s situated in is entirely dairying and the farm is of average size. “We are well below the average on lameness and mastitis. We only had one metabolic cow during the spring. I’ve spent all my spare time redoing fencing and generally tidying the farm up.” Stock minerals are sourced from Wonder Minerals in Eltham. Magnesium is supplied from early lactation to December, and zinc to combat facial eczema from January to April. The herd will be dried off by 10th May and calving will get underway on 26 July, with a 10 week window from go to wo. “This season I nished off the end of mating with a short gestation crossbred bull in the last 12 days. Kieran and Olivia Clough (inset) have recently moved to a 50:50 sharemilking position on a 90ha farm near Eltham. Those calves will still be black and white and there will still be a market for Friesian bull calves.” Looking ahead the next step will be farm ownership with possibly one stepping stone move left to secure this goal. “We should be in farm ownership within the next four years.” The couple own 100 cows being leased by Kieran’s parents on their own farm on the other side of Eltham. Asked where the larger pay-out this season is destined Kieran says it will be added to the farm deposit account. While the couple don’t have a farm advisor, as such, Kieran says he rubs ideas off with his accountant, who has a lot of knowledge and contacts. The farm contains just over a hectare of native bush in the middle and it is fully riparian planted. One boundary is the Waingongoro River. Since boxing day the milking regime has been 3 in 2. Kieran milks 5am, 4pm, then 9am the next day, giving 3 milkings in 2 days. And with farm ownership not very far away and a strong sense that the ‘Naki’ is where he wishes to remain Kieran says he and Olivia have worked hard to achieve what they have to date. “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s a great lifestyle and situation to bring a family up in.” “We are well below the average on lameness and mastitis. We only had one metabolic cow during the spring. I’ve spent all my spare time redoing fencing and generally tidying the farm up.” Schurr & Ireland are proud to support Kieran & Olivia Clough. NEW PLYMOUTH 36 Eliot Street / 06 759 0105 ELTHAM 11 Stanners St / 06 764 8305 Empowering your ideal future. Of ce 06 278 0020 Steve Roylance 021 287 5335 Peter Laurence 027 252 2174 WilliamMoynihan 027 279 7099 CLAASHarvest Centre areproud tosupport Kieran&OliviaClough