News & Advice

So how did you perform in 2017-2018 compared to our overall numbers?

Aug 9, 2018 | Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction

Katrina Roberts, Herd Health Veterinarian, Anexa

The middle of calving last season may seem an eternity ago, so how do you think your results compared last season?
At our recent herd owner seminar series, we presented the Anexa FVC dairy client performance in Reproduction and Milk Quality for last season.

It’s easy to be swayed by side comments from your farmer colleagues and even some Rural Profressionals with snippets of information, however at Anexa FVC we’ve been tracking the overall performance of our herds in these two areas in a consistent way for 15 years. This is what happened in 2017-18: 

Reproduction Winners 

The overall 6-week incalf rate for the Anexa FVC herds (that pregnancy tested with us) was up on the previous season, back to the results of the 15/16 year around 70%. However, the empty rate after 11 weeks of mating (the average) has been consistent over the last 4 years at around 12%.

There were 38 farmers (a huge increase from last year) achieving at or above the national target of 78% 6-week incalf rate, which is an exceptional result and shows that it is possible!

The overall winners were Carlos Alatorre, Herd Manager for Bruce and Aidie Haultain. This is not the first time that this farm has taken the honours and hot on his heels was last years’ winners Kelvin and Nicola Robinson from Gordonton, and a new comer to the top – Brian Rusk from Morrinsville. To be at the top these herds must achieve excellent 6-week incalf rates (around 81-84%), have short mating periods (less than 9 weeks), and have low empty rates at the end of that short mating period (less than 8%).

This season I also looked at the yearling repro results that we had entered into our database. There were only 29 sets of complete records for the R2s, so we can’t over-interpret the findings, but the average empty rate in this group was 10% for an average mating length of 11 weeks. We cannot accept these results for your yearlings! So, I have two pleas
1) Reduce the mating length and
2) Ensure that the pregnancy test data is entered into our system, so we continue to track this age group better.
These are our future. 

Milk Quality Winners 

The average BTSCC for the Anexa FVC herds for the 17-18 season was 142,000cells/ml and the average incidence of clinical mastitis was 13% over the season. The clinical data has been very consistent over the years with the top 25% of herds achieving 7% clinical cases. Interestingly, the BTSCC average does shift around a little bit between seasons. The winning herds are achieving much better than this with their average BTSCC of less than 80,000cells/ml, less than 7% clinical mastitis cases, very low drug sales and very low culling for mastitis. To select the winners ,the data is, of course, verified by drug sales, shed records, herd testing and culling records.

The winners were Whakahora Farms (Rodney & Karyn Mitchell) from Springdale, and the runners up Hillcrest Farms (David and Bronwyn Hill / Nathan & Zintael Bennett) from Raglan. 

New Award 

This season we have introduced an exciting new award the “Herd Health and Wellness Award”, which has been supported by Boehringher Ingelheim. This award recognises excellence in animal health and welfare, by accounting for reproductive performance, milk quality performance, general health of the herd, low death rate in the herd and good young stock health. The inaugural winners of this award are Williams Family Trust, Paul and Robyn Williams from Mangaiti. This herd was 4th in the repro and 3rd in the MQ awards and combined with low mortality and morbidity in all classes of stock, this is a well-deserved winner.

Let these results inspire you to achieve great things in the 2018-2019 season!

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