Farm Policy
note this is a policy written in 2005

Te Whiti Farm Policy

Property Description

This farming operation utilises the following assets to operate:

  • 120 hectares, aprox. 80 hectares of this is on the milking platform
  • The milking platform is divided into 42 paddocks
  • The farm has a 26 aside herringbone shed
  • approximately 240 cows are peak milked


 Farm Goals

The primary goals of the farming business are:

  • To achieve the best milk production possible profitably
  • To control the cost of production, to have a system that is profitable
  • To minimise the amount of human work required
  • To allow flexibility for all people involved in the farm to take time away from the farm, when and as required


Feeding Policy

This farm operates on a policy of maximising grass growth and harvesting feed grown. To achieve this the following happens:

  • Pasture walks are done every 1 to 2 weeks (depending on growth)
  • Supplements will be increased/decreased/ harvested according to a feed wedge graph
  • A post-grazing residual of 1400-1600 kgDM is aimed for at all times of the year, animals will be put back into paddocks if this isn’t reached where practical.
  • Paddocks will be topped if the is excess seedhead present post-grazing



Follow the spring rotation planner

The average pasture cover is not to go below 1800kg/DM ha



Grazing round to be at thirty days by end February



Grazing round to be at 120 days by 1st June

An average pasture cover of 2300kg/DM is aimed for by 1st June

50% of the cows are grazed off farm for six weeks from 1st June

Supplements are purchased if necessary



Weed Policy

For ragwort, scotch thistles and nodding thistles:

·         To be sprayed with either a back sprayer or motorbike mounted sprayer, although if a paddock has a lot of thistles the tractor sprayer can be used

·         are to be sprayed as conditions permit when cows are brought out of the paddock, all paddocks not done then are to b sprayed during the day

·         To be sprayed with MCPA from April to October and Tordon Gold from November to March

·         Overalls and Gloves are to be worn when spraying


For Californian Thistles:

·         All smaller clumps in paddocks are to be sprayed with the above weeds

·         For paddocks with to many to spray practically, they are to be topped with the tractor.

For Race Edges:

  • To be sprayed every 2 months with roundup, using the tractor mounted sprayer



  • This is sprayed once a year in the summer or autumn, with Tordon Brush Killer, using the tractor mounted sprayer


Fertiliser Porlicy

Soil tests and pasture tests are done annually and fertiliser requirements are derived from this. The aim is to achieve recommendation with least cost mixture. No trace elements are added as these are given directly to the cows.


Nitrogen Policy

  • Nitrogen is applied behind the cows from calving to mid September, and when the first rain comes in the Autumn
  • Rates are:
    • 50kgN/ha calving to mid September,
    • 20-30kgN/ha from mid September to December
    • 50kg N/ha in the Autumn
  • Nitrogen is to be spread by farm staff if labour permits otherwise by contractors



Herd Recording Policy

  • Matings records are kept by AB technician
  • Bull matings are not recorded
  • Calving records are recorded on MINDA-link using the palm pilot
  • Health records are written on white board in cowshed while treatment is in happening, then stored on MINDA


Culling Policy

Culls are identified in the following manner:

  • Cows are pregnancy tested six weeks after bull removal
  • Cows left to be culled are culled for the following problems (prioritised):
    • Somatic Cell Count
    • Udder
    • Health Problems
    • Production
    • Age
    • Temperament


Mating Policy

Mating is managed in the following way:

  • Four weeks prior to the planned start of matting (PSM) tail paint the herd
  • Start Mating on the 20th October
  • AB is done for six weeks
  • Hereford or Fresian bulls are used to tail off (ratio of 1:40)
  • One third of bulls rotated weekly
  • Bulls removed before Christmas
  • Yearlings are run with Jersey bulls (for easy calving) for six weeks, from 15th October


Animal Health Policy

Te Whiti farm has a policy of prevention and avoiding animal suffering

  • All animals are to be removed from the herd at the first sign of lameness or ill health
  • Identify cause of lameness or ill health and fix
  • Sick cows are to be grazed in the Front or Bull paddocks
  • In all cases primary assistance is administered by farm staff. Vets are used when the outlook is positive and profitable
  • Where the likelihood of recovery is poor animals will be destroyed

Treatments to be administered by Farm Staff include:

·         Worm Treatments t calves up to 15 months

·         Lice Treatments as required

·         5 in 1 vaccine to calves

·         Mastitis treatments including dry cow antibiotics

·         Antibiotics for lameness and inflammation

·         Milk fever treatments intravenously and subcutaneously


Calf Rearing Policy

The calves are the farms future and all care will be taken to ensure quality stock are raised

  • Apprx. 60 heifer calves of best genetic merit will be raised, through to cows.
  • All other AI heifers will be raised and sold
  • Upto 50 bull calves are reared each year, these must have all the markings of a Friesian or Hereford.
  • All other calves will be put on the booby truck
  • Calves are kept on their mothers for at least 12 hours
  • Calves will be fed once a day from birth
  • Calves will have access to meal and straw from birth
  • Calves will be closely monitored for disease.