Dairy farm case studies
MPI has worked with farmers and industry experts to develop case studies of high-performing dairy farms across New Zealand. The case studies provide an opportunity for farmers to learn from other farmers.
Financial, environmental and animal health
To achieve sustainable growth, farmers are increasingly focused on improving their farm's financial, environmental and animal health performance. To support these improvements, MPI is developing ways to:
- understand overall farm system performance
- showcase opportunities for improvement, whether through a series of small changes or large-scale on-farm change.
MPI’s case studies of high performing dairy farms reveal some of the reasons behind their success.
Read these case studies to:
- understand how triple bottom line (financial, environmental and animal health) farm performance can be measured
- explore how some successful farmers have increased their farm's productivity and performance.
More case studies will be added soon.
Bay of Plenty
Robust management decisions for sustainability
Western Bay of Plenty Dairy Farm
The husband and wife who own this farm thoroughly investigate and analyse the costs and benefits of business decisions. A feed pad and careful choice of feed types have resulted in excellent cow performance. By diversifying into kiwifruit and radiata pine, the owners earn income that complements their dairying income.
Read more about the Western Bay of Plenty Dairy Farm [PDF, 9.2 MB]
Weather proofing – a simple system for high production
Bay of Plenty Farm
Owners of this farm have invested in systems to manage the impacts of the local climate, including installation of an in-shed feeding system. This has improved control over cow feeding levels, regardless of the weather, without adding extra work. A focus on feeding lactating cows has improved production.
Read more about the Bay of Plenty Farm [PDF, 14 MB]
Proud farming family
Melrose Dairy Limited
Mark and Devon Slee work hard to continuously improve their farm, which was converted to dairy by Mark's parents in 1987. They farm highly productive and profitable crossbred cows and have focused on improving water use efficiency. Mark and Devon monitor their business performance to identify areas for improvement and support business decisions.
Read more about Melrose Dairy [PDF, 1.1 MB]
Effective and consistent performance
Moo's 'R' Us Limited
Corin and Wendy Schick take a simple approach to managing their farm and cows. With guidance from their advisers, they balance fresh ideas with proven systems to continuously improve their business. Corin and Wendy focus on balancing the quality and quantity of feed, and this is reflected in their impressive cow performance under the variable Northland climate.
Read more about Moo's 'R' Us [PDF, 1.1 MB]
Conversion to dairy providing flexibility for owners
Rustic Dairies Limited
Zach Mounsey has used his background as an economist to focus on the economics and flexibility of his farm system. Zach and his parents converted a drystock farm to dairy, introducing once-a-day milking, and a focus on pasture quality. They have also focused on building a strong health and safety culture.
Read more about Rustic Dairies [PDF, 1 MB]
Focus on low breakeven and environmental sustainability
Judge Valley Dairies Limited
John Hayward and Susan O'Regan focus on the economic and environmental sustainability of their farm system. John and Susan acquired more land in 2014, allowing for increased farm efficiency and production. A focus on having a well fed herd has increased milk production by 21%.
Read more about Judge Valley Dairies [PDF, 1.4 MB]
Performance based system growing into the future
Rex and Sharon Butterworth identify changes they need to make in their farming system, then adapt management to make the most of the changes. Rex and Sharon invested in covered feed pads to reduce the impacts of climate on production, and changed farm processes to make the most of the new feeding system.
Read more about Butterworth Enterprises [PDF, 4.9 MB]
Robust management for long-term sustainability
Gascoigne Farm Limited
Marc and Maria Gascoigne have developed their farm with a focus on sustainable use of resources. After starting out as equal partners with Marc's parents, Marc and Maria followed a defined plan to progressively buy out the farming business. They now have a 445 cow spring-calving Friesian herd, which produced 224,692 kgMS in the 2014 to 2015 season.
Read more about Gascoigne Farm [PDF, 1.1 MB]