Episode 7 – These farmers don’t worry about the weather in winter with their ‘mootels’

In Podcasts3 Minutes

Seasons are rarely predictable and can throw some real curve balls when you least expect them, so having the flexibility to change course can make a real difference in their high-rainfall climate.

There are dairy farmers across New Zealand saying they are sleeping easier at night because their concern of cows calving in big downpours is gone with now having composting cow barns known candidly as ‘mootels’.

Guests include:

  1. Tom Oats, Reefton dairy farmer
  2. Tristan McLean, Lely Waikato sales manager
  3. Rob McBeth, Peak Agricultural Consultants


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter
  2. Anne Hardie, Journalist, Dairy Exporter
  3. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

Long-term journalist for Dairy Exporter, Anne Hardie, talks to Tom Oats who is in his second season as 50:50 sharemilkers for Thomas’ parents, Tegal and Wendy, on the 169-hectare (effective) farm just south of Reefton. 

He justifies the investment with meeting their goal to lengthen the production curve each season with 100% feed utilisation leading to increased production by milking cows longer and achieve consistent results.

Read the story ‘Cover on the Coast’  in the Dairy Exporter November/December 2023

We break down the benefits of having a Lely Juno in your composting cow ‘mootel’ with Sales Manager at Lely Waikato, Tristan Mclean. The automatic feed pusher is an essential part of ensuring you achieve better feed utilisation without the labour cost.

Anne finishes with a debrief of the Our Land and Water funded research trial with Rob McBeth from Peak Agricultural Consultants who worked with three dairy farmers who’s key drivers were to improve environmental outcomes, more attractive to staff, animal welfare as well as reduced pasture damage during wet periods. 

Read the story ‘Mootels pass early test’ in the Dairy Exporter November/December 2023 click here

Key Links:

Our Land & Water Composting Mootel Study


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Win a world class pasture-raised veal box for Easter thanks to our friends at Pearl Veal, that proudly featured in our Dairy Exporter November/December magazine.


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