JUNE 2021

Did you know?

Van Dairy is Tasmania’s largest dairy with 15 farms. We have approx. 11500 milking cows and a plan to increase jobs to 250.

Breeding Program Improvements

Van Dairy is committed to increasing pregnancy rates among its herd and has introduced a new customised breeding system. The aim is to manage dairy cows and dairy heifers in a more efficient way. Using the previous breeding system, the average pregnancy rate was sitting at around 70 – 75 percent.
Van Dairy has taken steps to revise and improve the breeding procedure by combining Artificial Insemination (AI) and natural mating. This process allows more time and opportunity for cows to get pregnant. As a result of this breeding approach the pregnancy rate among the herd has increased to 90.9 per cent. The highest rate on a Van Dairy farm is 93.2 per cent, achieved at The Glen farm managed by Neil Hart.
Van Dairy owner Xianfeng Lu said the improvements in the breeding procedure had also led to an increase in milk production. “The pregnancy rate has increased by about 20 per cent, which has increased the number of cows being pregnant by 2000 heads,” Mr Lu said. “This new breeding procedure has also brought an increase in income for our farmers of more than 20 per cent.”
Van Dairy is committed to ongoing improvements as we build a sustainable and quality dairy.

Want to know more?

Contact Tristan: 0451 432 508

Managing Laneways

As part of Van Dairy’s commitment to high standards it is important to review our processes. We need to make sure that cows are moved along our laneways efficiently and we do not hold cows on laneways for extended periods. If we use laneways to hold cows, then the laneway becomes part of our effluent system that we need to manage.
Tips and tricks to better manage stock flow and keep our laneways free of excessive amounts of effluent:

  • Ensure that cow flow is unrestricted and that all gates etc are set up to allow the cows to move to and from the dairy un-obstructed.
  • Let cows walk at their own pace in an unstressed manner.
  • Never feed hay or silage on laneways which can stop cow flow and also changes the definition of a cow lane to a feed pad meaning that again we need to deal with the effluent coming off that area.
  • Encourage cows to walk away from the dairy immediately after milking. Do not let them congregate for extended periods.
  • Clean sections of laneways that do become muddy or covered in excess effluent.
  • van dairy staff newsletter JUNE 2021

    Introducing Tristan

    Most of you would have met or seen Tristan either out on a farm or in our Smithton office.
    He is a key part of our team and spends a lot of time working with our farm managers to keep everything running smoothly.
    Tristan moved to Tasmania in In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis and enjoying find food around the state.February last year.
    In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis and enjoying find food around the state.

    Remember if in doubt give us a shout.
    Wolfie (0427 458 261) is here to help.

    Farm news from Wolfie Wagner

    Winter pasture management tips

  • Grazing round lengths should preferably be out at around 50 days i.e. allocate 1/50th of your available pasture per day.
  • Watch your grazing interval you will have some creep and this will usually be shorter than your round length.
  • Keep a check on your daily grazing pressure (or daily stocking rate). This is the total number of cows being milked divided by the pasture area allocated daily. EG 1000 cows and 9ha pasture allocated daily therefore 1000/9 = 111cows/ha/day.
  • If your grazing pressure is below 100 cows/ha/day your round length will be too fast and if your grazing pressure is higher than around 120cows/ha/day your round length might be too slow.
  • Keep your fertiliser application up to date. Response to nitrogen is maximised if we apply between the window of 3 days pre grazing and around 5 days post grazing.
  • The hardest winter management part is to try and avoid pugging paddocks. In periods of extreme wet you might need to stand cows off the paddocks to reduce damage or you might need to open up the round for a short period (2 or 3 days).
  • Positive progress

    Thank you to all farm managers for your continued efforts with effluent management. This area remains a collective responsibility and we need R to be vigilant at all times anda immediately report any issues of concern.
    There is also work being done to manage cow numbers and we appreciate the input and cooperation of everyone involved in this process. Going forward we will be looking to increase milk production, so there is much hard work ahead of us and we appreciate the efforts of all our staff during this process.

    Share your news

    We believe it is important for all of us to be fully informed and to know where to go and who to talk to for any issues on your farm or in your role.
    Our plan is to use this newsletter to share information and talk about the things we are doing in the business and on our farms.
    We want to hear from you as well...send us your news, your questions and any information you would like to
    We look forward to building our relationships and sharing our successes.

    Want to know more?

    Contact Tristan: 0451 432 508

    Van Dairy Limited
    PO BOX 418 Smithton
    TAS 7330

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