News & Advice

What do the numbers say? Was the 2022-2023 as challenging as we all thought?

Jun 7, 2023 | Community, Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction, Dry stock animal health & welfare, Milk Quality

Katrina Roberts, Herd Health Veterinarian

Most of our clients are telling me they were hanging out for May 31st, ready to put the 2022-2023 season behind them! It seems so ridiculous when we had the wettest summer and autumn ever, but the challenges that the wet has brought have outweighed the benefits for many of our farmers.

So as much as I am reluctant to be caught saying ‘it’s just the season’ this season has definitely had some influence on animal health and wellbeing. Each year, the team crunches the numbers and looks at how our clients compare to national averages and look for any trends that may be emerging. We also think it is important to celebrate and acknowledge the top performers. These are the results*:



The overall 6-week in-calf rate for the Anexa herds that pregnancy tested with us was back to 70%, down from a consistent 72% for the last few years. This is consistent with the drop in 6-week in-calf rate that LIC has reported in the media already for the 2022 mating season. The empty rate (not quite the same as a not-in-calf rate for the pedants) after 76 days of mating (the average mating length among herds tested) has responded accordingly and has increased to 13.5%, up from around 12-12.5%.

Despite this drop in performance, there were still 30 Anexa farmers achieving at or above the national target of 78% 6-week in-calf rate, which is an exceptional result and shows that it is possible even in challenging seasons.

Each year Anexa recognises the top herds across the whole practice. To be at the top these herds must achieve excellent 6-week in-calf rates (around 86-87%), have short mating periods (less than 9 weeks) and have low empty rates at the end of that short mating period (less than 8%). The overall winners for 2022 were Ross and Sharon Wallis from Raglan – well done!

We also analyse the yearling repro results in our database. This year there were 50 sets of complete records for the R2s; the average empty rate in this group was 7% for an average mating length of 75 days.


Milk Quality

The average Bulk Tank Somatic Cell Count (BTSCC) for the Anexa herds for the 2022-23 season was 153,000 cells/ml and the average incidence of clinical mastitis was 12% across the season. The clinical data has been very consistent over the years with the top 25% of herds achieving 6.5% clinical cases. The winning herds are achieving much better than this, however, with an average BTSCC of less than 80,000cells/ml, fewer than 7% clinical mastitis cases, very low drug sales, very low culling for mastitis and exceptional herd test results as well.

The winners for 2022-23 were Walker Holdings Taupiri Ltd from Gordonton – good work!


Herd Health and Wellbeing

This award recognises excellence in animal health and wellbeing, by accounting for reproductive performance, milk quality performance, general health of the herd, low death rate, and good young stock health. The 2022 winners of this award are Bryan and Brenda Wratt from Te Aroha.


Let these results inspire you to achieve great things in the 2023-2024 season and may the rain stop just for a little while.


*When selecting the winners, the data is analysed and verified with their lead vet.

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