’Producing more milk with the least amount of money was one of the main topics of conversation at the third of four Kyabram Focus Farm Open Days on Tuesday, December 1.
Farmers from across the Goulburn Valley gathered at Peter and Susan Wearden’s dairy farm to hear a progress report on their business and focus farm goals.
In the past three months Mr and Mrs Wearden have bought an adjoining 84.09ha farm, bringing their farm total to about 271ha, however, recent dry weather has derailed their plans for this season.
‘‘We bought it, and the dry weather has meant the plans we have for that land had to be changed, the temp water market is out of our reach,’’ Mrs Wearden said.
‘‘We did our budget on water being around the $180/Ml but it has hit $300.’’
Mr and Mrs Wearden have reduced the area they are irrigating due to the weather and are considering drying off all their pasture for January and February depending on what happens with the price of water and summer rainfall.
A new permanent staff member has joined the existing trainee and relief milker leading to their sustainable management of growth goal.
‘‘We have two youngish staff and we are looking to bring them into the business more,’’ Mrs Wearden said.
‘‘One is a trainee and with time as the business grows they will gain the experience and knowledge (and) we are hoping they can take a bit more ownership of the operational side of the business.’’
Mrs Wearden said that the dry weather and high price of water were holding back those plans.
The addition of 55 heifers calving in spring this year brings their total to 360, and another 30 to calve in autumn will mean the Weardens will have accomplished one of their focus farm goals to grow from 250 cows in 2014 to 400 cows.
In the dairy, the couple was able to move breast rails and complete renovations, which now allows for 28 cows a-side compared to 26 a-side previously.
Guest speaker Dr Mick McAuliffe from the Kyabram Veterinary Clinic discussed the farm’s fertility focus results and ANZ insights and research manager Taf Shaamano discussed Australia’s dairy potential.