Your relationship with your grazier is usually fine until something goes wrong. Then suddenly you both realize that there is no plan in place for problems. Who buys extra feed for the poor-doing calves? Who covers the feed deficit during the summer? Who can call, and who pays for the vet?
By the time you read this article, you may think that it’s too late to draw up a contract with your grazier. You may not want to, because you have already made plans for your R1s for the next year and will be moving them on the 1 May. But it’s not too late to make a list of discussion topics.
You may feel uncomfortable discussing topics around financial responsibility such as feed shortages, calling the vet etc. However imagine how awkward it will be to figure these things out after the problem actually occurs.
DairyNZ has very good resources around creating heifer grazing contracts and maintaining regular reporting systems. However, if you need a place to start the conversation, start here:
- Decide who supplies feed in a feed deficit.
- Decide on a concrete trace element and drench plan (what is given and who buys/administers it and when) and STICK TO IT.
Your local Anexa Vets have a lot of experience dealing with the grazier-dairy farmer relationship. If you have any questions about what you should address in a discussion or contract, feel free to contact your local Anexa vet.