Episode 25 – Deep-diving fertility traits, N loss and contracts

In PodcastsJuly 5, 20242 Minutes

This week we caught up with some farmers who shared their expertise at SIDE’s 2024 Conference, along with a geneticist. From new traits being researched for the fertility breeding value, to tackling strategies to reduce N loss, and finally how to navigate the ins and outs of share milking contracts, hosts Sheryl and Anne cover it all. 

Guests include:

  1. Dr Melissa Stephen, Quantitative Geneticist, NZAEL
  2. Athol New, Mayview Farm & Terry Kilday, Camden Group
  3. Richard & Chrissie Wright, farmers
  4. Kerry Burt, farmer


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter
  2. Anne Lee, Deputy Editor, Dairy Exporter

Dr Melissa Stephen discusses the importance of recording accurate calving dates to help the national breeding evaluation. She also explains the research she is doing into early life fertility predictors, including how anogenital distance (AGD) can help predict a cow’s fertility. 

Farmers Athol New and Terry Kilday spoke at the conference about their involvement in the Hinds and Selwyn project, a five-year programme, focussing on farmer-to-farmer learning to understand mitigation strategies to reduce N loss. They discuss the different ways they tackled this on their farms, and offer some advice to other farmers. 

Farmers Richard and Chrissie Wright share their advice on fostering good working relationships with contract milkers, and what to look out for when navigating the ins and outs of contracts. 

Kerry Burt was part of the same workshop, and shares his own experiences with contract milking, and what employers and employees alike should keep in mind. 

Click here to check out Barenbrug’s ‘Better Pastures Together” podcast series now.

Click here to check out last week’s episode from the SIDE Conference.