Success comes with change

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

How exciting when our farmer columnists tell of fantastic stuff they are doing at their place – and it is backed up in the same issue by industry experts. It means we are getting to top farmers and are totally on trend with our content (it’s an editor thing!).

John Milne has been farming on the West Coast for many years and this issue he tells of turning his milking regime on its head last season – and how the success of the change was above average production, great repro results and cows pumping out 106% of their liveweight in milksolids for the season (pg13).

Later in the issue we have expert content from Brent Boyce of FarmWise saying that with higher costs hitting the industry, farmers could find efficiencies by matching milking frequency with how much milk the cows are producing at that stage of the lactation. Makes sense and has advantages for team workload, costs and both BCS and repro results of cows. Using a mixed milking regime (OAD for the first month after calving, 2AD until Christmas, moving to 3-in-2 until mid-April and OAD for the rest of the season), Brent says similar production to 2AD is possible with lower costs and 133 fewer milkings (pg99).

Contract milking is a great way to get started as a business-owner in the industry, but newcomers need to be careful about the contract, the money, the planning and the advice they get. Anne Lee has a suite of great information from the South Island Dairy Event to help young people navigate their contract milking journey (pg61).

Emma Poole is our cover woman, and what a wonder woman she is, mum, wife, vet, calf rearer, farmer and winner of the Young Farmer of the Year contest for 2023, the first woman to pull off a win in the 55 years of the contest. She told Sheryl Haitana that the juggle is real but that motherhood has made her more resilient. She is such a great role model for other young women in the sector. You are all wonder women in my eyes!

We all need to keep learning and keep changing as the world and the industry changes. We are going through our own changes here, as our magazines – almost-100 year old NZ Dairy Exporter and almost-50 year old Country-Wide are now owned by Sarah Perriam and Lucinda Diack, trading as CountryWide Media Ltd. Thanks to Tony Leggett for his years of guidance and stewardship of the titles. We are excited to see where these two younger and more digitally-focused owners take the publications and we are up for exciting change, and keen for continued success as we help our farmers learn, excel and grow.