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The Path to Dairying:

Pedigree Holstein cows since 1989. We have lifted our production from 260MS

to 600MS.

Moved to Canterbury in 1995. We started to feed our cows better.

We have been breeding higher capacity cows that do high milk solids, so

needed to look at management of our dairy business and how we harvest the


We started 3 times a day milking in the spring peak on one farm for 10 weeks

to both gain more production and also to benefit the cows (so their udder did

not blow apart with too much milk on 2 times a day milking). This was not

people friendly and the dairy shed was running 12 hours a day.

Looking forward to 2020 – What would we need? 500-600 cows a good

business, milking 2-3 times a day with cows grazing & living outside.

Seeing the improvements in technology

Cows are not pushed (cow friendly – “free range”), cows fully fed

Cows giving 15-25 litres each milking

Taking the gamble - that the timing was right, to put robots in.

First, we bought the farm at the right price for converting to Robotics.

We over capitalized on the building (opportunity for future developments).

Our daughter wanted to do it! Always looking at doing things differently.

By 2015 we will have a good history of what can be done. By 2020 we will all

have learnt the best way.


Farm is 259 hectares – 245 effective.

Irrigated with 6 pivots, and some sprinklers will be added in time. Water is

from the Chertsey Barrhill Scheme. Irrigation came on line about 1st

December. We still have some issues with our system. We have a variable

rate on two irrigators to turn water off as it goes over lane ways – not yet

working .