In the Media

Allflex tech’s powering up Litchfields’ dairy op

The Litchfield family’s investment in technology from Allflex Livestock Intelligence is paying dividends within their southern NSW-based dairy farming operation.

Ian and Karen Litchfield purchased the 182-hectare Kariana, situated near Mayrung in the Riverina, in 2000, and over the years they’ve purchased three other blocks, which including Kariana cover 760ha of which 600ha consists of flat flood irrigation country.

Together with their daughter Amy and son-in-law Jack, the Litchfields milk 800 Holstein cows each year out of a total milking herd of 950 head with their flat milk supply sold into the year-round milk markets.

Mrs Litchfield said they feed the breeding herd a total mixed ration (TMR) to optimise their intake.

“By operating with a TMR we efficiently utilise our feed base with a high producing and fertile herd that best converts feed to optimise feed cost margins,” she said.

As herd numbers have grown the Litchfields are using fixed time AI programs every six weeks, and although they’re getting good conception rates they were missing returns as the needling process was disruptive to the milking process for the cows and staff.

Smart gate: Karen Litchfield said their Allflex draft gate allows them to draft cows with incredible precision.

“We knew there had to be a better way to operate. We had been aware of collar technology for some time, and that it had become more advanced and affordable.”

With this knowledge in mind the Litchfields purchased 1000 Allflex collars, which were installed in August 2018. Data is collected and extracted from sensors on the collars, which is automatically uploaded to the Allflex Heatime Pro+ software.

“We researched other companies, but the ease of operating the Allflex program is what sold us on going with them. With large herds you can’t see or know every cow but with Heatime Pro+ we can quickly and easily have information on hand about every cow to allow individual monitoring and decision making.”

Mrs Litchfield said they’re very happy with the system.

“By using Heatime Pro+ we’ve been able to reduce our days to milk by 30 days to 160. We’re also now more confident in using sexed semen through which we’ve been achieving good results.”

She said rumination tracking has allowed them to quickly identify fresh cows that are having health issues as well as other cows in the herd with low rumination.

The operation: The Litchfields’ milk 800 Holstein cows each year out of a total milking herd of 950 head with their flat milk supply sold into the year-round milk markets.

“This along with milk meters and conductivity alarms in our milking system takes any guesswork out of identifying sick cows and allows for quick and more effective veterinary treatments.

“The software is also great for singling out cows with fertility issues, allowing us to cull strategically to improve our herd efficiency.”

Mrs Litchfield said they’re also rapt with the Allflex draft gate they installed in 2018.

“Being able to accurately draft cows is very beneficial. Cows are automatically drafted each morning for the AI program, so we now go in to AI knowing confidently all cows for breeding will be in draft race. It also allows us to draft any sick cows.”

The family are also using the Allflex Tissue Sampling Unit (TSU), which is helping them quickly and easily identify A2 cows in their herd.

“We’re also looking forward to utilising the Allflex Livestock Intelligence system upgrades on the horizon, particularly the bull fertility program.”

Kiwi Jack Raharuhi takes the crown in top Australasian agri-business award

Jack Raharuhi from Pāmu Farms in Westport, and Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year 2016, has been crowned the 2020 Zanda McDonald Award winner.

Raharuhi, 27 years old, is the Buller Dairy Group Operations Manager for Pāmu, where he oversees 4 dairy farms and a machinery syndicate at Cape Foulwind, and Health and Safety leadership for 10 dairy farms. He is also Chair of the West Coast Focus Farm Trust, and heavily involved with training and mentoring staff as part of the West Coast 2IC Development Programme.

Read the full article here

2020 Zanda McDonald Award Finalists Announced

Things are heating up for the prestigious Zanda McDonald Award, with one Australian and two New Zealanders announced today as the three finalists for the 2020 trophy.

The trans-Tasman award is widely seen as a badge of honour in agriculture, recognising passionate and outstanding young professionals working in the sector.

The 2020 finalists are Dr Elle Moyle, 29, from Victoria, Jack Raharuhi, 27, from Westport NZ, and James Robertson, 22, from Auckland NZ. The three were selected from a shortlist of six applicants, who were interviewed by the judging panel last month in Wellington.

Read the full article here

 

2020 Zanda McDonald Award Finalists Announced

Beef Australia – Rockhampton 6 th – 12 th May 2018

We had a fantastic week in Rockhampton at Beef Australia 2018 – http://beefaustralia.com.au/

Many customers took the time to visit us on our three sites and to enter in our “win your own monitoring device” competition and learn more about our monitoring technology.

Beef Australia Conference – Rockhampton 6th

Zanda McDonald Award 2018

At Allflex we champion future leaders in agriculture, and are proud to have sponsored the #zandaaward since Day One. Please tag in anyone you think should apply. There is a $50,000 prize package to be won!

The search is on for future leaders in agribusiness. If you’re under 35, from Australia or NZ and have what it takes, apply for the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award. Applications close 24 August 2018. Details at www.pppgroup.org

Zanda McDonald Award