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TAS Country : March 15th 2012
Special Feature Dairy Business Awards Friday, March 16, 2012 Tasmanian Country 23 EXPANDED PRODUCTION: Grant Archer with some of his dairy herd at the Bradley family's property Rosemount near Cressy. The couple have mainly cross bred Friesian Jersey cows which Mr Archer said had enabled them to improve fertility in the herd. They aim for a tight calving pattern where between 80-90 per cent of the herd calve within the first six weeks, with minimal induction needed. During the competition season the herd of 500 cows were run on a milking platform of about 131ha. A major herd expansion to 950 cows in the upcoming season however will see that area boosted to 275ha with about 175ha irrigated. To cater for the herd increase, a new 54-unit rotary dairy is also now under construction and should be completed in time for the new season in July. A change to three milkings in two days has also helped reduce costs. Mr Archer said he was always open to new ideas, so when he heard about the three milkings in two days option he though it would be worth a try. The result has been no significant decrease in production, but a reduction in labour and other milking costs such as power. Mr Archer one less milking also meant the cows did not have to walk as much and the milking times were more flexible for staff. The cows are milked at 5am and 7pm on the first day and then at 11am on the second day. This season Mr Archer said their per cow production would average 450kg- 460kg of milk solids. During the first three years at Cressy, the overall production in- creased from 150,000kg of milk solids in the first year to 172,000kg/ms in the second year and 217,000 kg/ms in year three. Mr Archer said this increase was due to several factors, including better pasture production, more cows and getting the whole system established. ''We have the right type of cows and the right system to do it and it's working really well,'' he said. Mr Archer said another critical aspect in their success was having good staff. ''We have some really good people working for us and that makes a big difference, because we know the day-to- day stuff is being looked after,'' he said. ''We've always tried to develop the people first and then the farms rather than having the farms first and then trying to find the right people.'' The Archer are also involved in a share farming and dairy conversion operation on the Chilvers family's Oakdene property near Symmons Plains. Rob Bradley said while he had little knowledge about dairying or milking cows at the beginning, they had en- joyed the whole process of diversifying their operation. ''We's always wanted to diversify and we though it would fit in well with what we were already doing here doing and it has worked well,'' he said. ''We're not dairy farmers, so obvi- ously having the right share farmer was critical and we've developed a good working relationship over the last few years.'' While the majority of the property will now be dedicated to the dairying operation, Mr Bradley said they would still do some high-value cropping on parts of the property and having a long pasture phase in the rotation was an advantage. Mr Bradley said the Cressy region had been a traditional dairying area, so he would not be surprised to see more conversions in future. ''If the milk prices remain stable and high I think more and more people will look at conversions or part conver- sions,'' he said. ANZ has provided banking services to customers in regional Australia for more than 150 years. With access to industry specialists and an extensive range of products and services, our ANZ Regional Commercial team can tailor solutions to suit the unique needs of your business. To find out how we can help, call us today. Local agribusiness banking specialists that understand the dairy industry. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522. ANZ s colour blue is a trade mark of ANZ. K11561 03.12 ANZ Burnie Adrian Dixon Agribusiness Manager 0429 962 094 ANZ Devonport/Deloraine Rick Webb Agribusiness Manager 0427 270 837 ANZ Hobart Ben Wallace Agribusiness Manager 0409 939 196 ANZ Launceston/North East Scott Smith Agribusiness Manager 0429 976 755 ANZ Launceston Russell Gittus Agribusiness Manager 0459 155 084 ANZ Smithton Adrian Marthick Agribusiness Manager 0428 645 235 ANZ Tasmania Chris Sparks Regional Executive 0411 235 791 ANZ Tasmania Tony Rossi Manager-Farmgate Corporate & Agribusiness 0409 119 658 2009 2010 2011
March 8th 2012
March 22nd 2012