David milks 360 cross-bred cows on the 170-hectare farm he owns with his partner Jess and their twin boys Roger and Harley. The family has transitioned to once-a-day milking and their breeding programme is critical to achieving the farm’s production goals.
“Transitioning to once-a-day milking has been a game-changer for us. It not only grants us more personal time but also eases the load on our cows,” says David.
“We achieved an average production of 125,000kgMS milking twice a day and this season we are on track to do 120,000kgMS. The key has been focusing on optimising our herd configuration.
From here on our target will be around 120,000kgMS per season or around 333kg/MS per cow as we reduce the herd to 330 cows.”
Using CRV’s sexed semen he is aiming to strategically shape his herd, to find a perfect balance between full Jersey and full Friesian breeds and cows that produce and stay in his herd longer.
He used sexed semen across his entire herd for the first two and a half weeks of artificial insemination last season. From 250 straws, he had 114 live heifers on the ground this calving. He tails off his mating with Hereford bulls to breed a high value dairy beef animal that he grows through to 100kgs before selling.
“Using the sexed semen was a no brainer really,” says David. “We have more heifers than we need but we’re trying to get to the point where we have a decent number of five- or six-year-old cows in the herd that produce more as opposed to younger ones. Getting production up for once a day is influenced a lot by your herd configuration.”
David says having more control over his breeding process and reduced workload has led to a more streamlined operation. Any heifers that don’t make it into the herd will be sold, and likely to be in high demand with the herd’s breeding worth sitting at about 300BW.
“Using CRV’s sexed semen we managed to get all our heifer replacements calved in just three weeks, significantly shortening our calving period,” says David.
The shorter calving period also means he has already weaned the first two mobs of 40 heifers, which puts them ahead of the game when it comes to getting through calf rearing season.
“Using CRV’s sexed semen is helping us achieve our herd goals faster. I can’t fault the product and CRV has been instrumental in helping us choose the right bulls to achieve our breeding goals,” says David.
“CRV understands our objectives and has provided expert advice, which has been invaluable in fine-tuning our herd's composition for success.”