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TAS Country : September 2nd 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010 Tasmanian Country 19 Stock Report For Sale 19 Friesian heifers 2.5 y.o. AI bred calving from 15 Sept on POA 70 Angus cows with calves at foot to be sold as one lot $1300 ea Ph. Frank Steers 0418 141 081 50 Jersey cows mixed age POA Ph. Adam Crawford 0400 550 412 50 quality Murray Grey heifers ready to mate POA Ph. Bernard Atkins 0417 593 158 10 Friesian bulls and 10 Jersey bulls POA Ph. Greg Duke 0407 882 595 Wanted to Buy 30 Murray Grey or Angus cows with calves at foot POA Holstein Friesian heifers from 1wk - 12wks of age - no blood test, immediate delivery and payment POA Ph. Bernard Atkins 0417 593 158 Store cattle from 250kg - 350kg, steers and heifers Ph. Bernard Atkins 0417 593 158 or Peter Collins 0427 547 145 GST may apply. PHONE A VICSTOCK AGENT FIRST Export Wanted - China Holstein friesian heifers 8-15 mths 150kg + Chopper cows and bulls wanted Ph. a Vicstock agent for details 2000360-100903 Happy herd feels right at home LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Jarrod and Lyndon Smith discuss plans for their Herd Homes with construction company general manager Stephen Duggan at their dairy farm near Winnaleah. Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR We'll be able to spread it on the paddocks evenly, rather than it just collecting where the cows hang around at gateways or in the camp spots in the bottom of the hills.' THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE: A specially designed water trough is ready to be installed in one of the Smith family's Herd Homes. KAROLIN MacGREGOR TRUDGING out through the mud in the dark to check on calving cows will soon be a thing of the past for Lyndon and Jarrod Smith thanks to their new Herd Homes. The Smiths, who run a dairy farm at Winnaleah in the state's North-East, are the first farmers in the country to construct a Herd Home, which they hope will im- prove working conditions and boost productivity. Mr Smith said enduring last year's extremely wet winter and spring had been the main reason behind them looking for an alternative production system through the colder months. Jarrod started researching covered feed pads on the internet and came across the Herd Homes. The Herd Homes design has been perfected over 20 years in New Zealand, where there are now about 200 of them in use. Jarrod said the idea behind the sheds was to keep cows off the paddocks when conditions were wet and they could potentially pug up the paddocks and damage pastures. The Herd Homes will also be used at calving time, or when conditions are extremely hot or cold. Mr Smith said research in New Zealand had shown a 25-30 per cent increase in pasture production by using the homes. Milk production is also increased, especially during very cold conditions, because the cows are not using as much energy trying to stay warm. The Smiths are currently build- ing two Herd Homes, with plans to install a third one down the track. The Herd Homes are being built into a site on the side of a hill and are just a 150m walk from the Smiths' 50-unit rotary dairy. Initial construction work is be- ing handled by pre-cast concrete company Duggans Pty Ltd, which is headed up by general manager Stephen Duggan. Each shed is about 60m long and 10m wide. Mr Duggan said con- struction of the Herd Homes should take about eight weeks. Relatively straightforward con- structions, the Herd Homes sit over the top of large concrete bunkers, which capture all the manure waste and compost it. Specially designed slatted centre flooring is placed over the top of the bunkers, which allows manure and urine to drain through. The concrete bunkers include 150 tonnes of pre-cast concrete walls, which support about 160 tonnes of pre-stressed slatted floor- ing brought in from New Zealand. Each bunker can hold about 500 cubic metres of effluent. Water and urine from the homes is collected in small concrete tanks and can be spread back on the property as fertiliser. Once a year the flooring will be removed and a tractor used to scoop out the com- posted manure, which can also be used on the farm as fertiliser. Jarrod said the nutrient value of the urine and manure collected in the bunkers was worth about $40,000 a year as fertiliser. ''We'll be able to spread it on the paddocks evenly, rather than it just collecting where the cows hang around at gateways or in the camp spots in the bottom of the hills,'' he said. The Herd Homes have a hothouse-style roof and relatively open sides. In summer shade cloth is used to provide protection from the sun. Each shed can hold about 200 cows, and concrete water troughs are placed in each corner. Feeding troughs run down the long sides of the shelters. Mr Smith, who travelled to New Zealand this year to inspect the Herd Homes, said they planned to feed a mix of forage to the cows while they are in the homes, including silage and some cut pastures. They will also look at planting maize for silage pro- duction this season. ''The cows actually eat less when they're in the sheds because they're not using as much energy to keep warm,'' Mr Smith said. ''They're also very good in sum- mer when it gets hot. If we get any really hot days here we notice a big drop in production.'' The Smiths will milk about 480 cows this season, but plan to increase their numbers once the Herd Homes are in use and their pasture production increases. Mr Smith said the improvement in working conditions, especially during winter, would also be a major benefit of the new system. ''We'll be able to sleep at night knowing the cows are warm and dry, especially when it gets really wet and cold,'' he said. Mr Smith said while there was some initial expense involved with constructing the homes, by boost- ing pasture production, being able to increase cow numbers and making significant savings on fer- tiliser, the payback period was only about five years. Parasites can't worm out of new drench SHEEP producers have scored their first new worm drench in 15 years with the launch of Novartis Animal Health's Zolvix. And a second new drench, Star- tect, developed by Pfizer, is going through the approval process with the Australian Pesticides and Vet- erinary Medicines Authority. Zolvix, and the pending Startect release, defy reports during the past decade that manufacturers would be unable to afford the research and development for any new sheep drench. Fort Dodge's Cydectin, containing moxidectin, was the last commercially released drench in 1995. The drench, along with many others from the mectin family, is now encountering high levels of resistance. Zolvix, developed at a cost of up to $440 million and containing the active ingredient monepantel, comes at a price --- three to four times that of current drenches. This week a major Victorian retailer was quoting a 10-litre pack of Zolvix at $2524. At a dosage rate of 1ml/10kg liveweight, a lamb would cost 75c to drench, while an adult would cost about $1.50. However, as Novartis technical services veterinarian Justin Bailey said, it was a waste of money using existing drenches if worms were resistant to them. Novartis claims a kill rate of at least 99.9 per cent, even if worms are resistant to other drenches. Zolvix was released 18 months ago in New Zealand at a similar price. NZ South Island veterin- arian John Smart said though the Zolvix was highly effective, many New Zealand sheep producers had baulked at the price, which had now been reduced by one-third. Dr Smart said Zolvix was an excellent ''quarantine'' drench for producers who bought-in stock. Novartis is also proposing Aust- ralian producers use Zolvix as a quarantine and summer drench. The Weekly Times
August 26th 2010
September 9th 2010