created and managed by dairy farmers, for dairy farmers and all those connected to us
Australian Dairy Conference 2010
Sea Change; See Change
A conference for farmers, by farmers and this time, by the sea!
go on, you deserve it!
Novotel Resort, Wollongong NSW February 23-26, 2010
Expect excellence An excellent time, an excellent place, with simply excellent people
Major supporting Partner Platinum sponsors Major sponsors
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
Australian Dairy Conference 2010
Sea Change; See Change
2-14 cliff rd
Wollongong nsW 2500
Pre Conference Tour – February 23
Welcome Function – February 23
Conference – February 24/25
Post Conference Tour – February 26
Program and Proceedings
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the papers within these proceedings are those of the author and not necessarily those of
the board of the ADC. Whilst all care has been taken in the compilation of these proceedings, neither the board of the ADC nor
the conference conveners take any responsibility for the accuracy and content. The program was correct at the time of going
to print however the organisers reserve the right to make adjustments to the program
All inquiries in relation to the management of the 2010 Australian dairy conference should be
Esther Price Promotions
Po Box 341, Mundijong WA 6123
Tel: 08 9525 9222; Fax 08 9525 5008
esther Price 0418 931 938
donna sykes 0412 778 849
dear Australian dairy conference delegate,
dairy Australia is very proud of our role as the major sponsor of the Australian dairy conference, which we have held since its inception
six years ago. i hope that you will have a rewarding three days, with a terrific array of topics of relevance to you and your business.
As the new Managing director of dairy Australia, i welcome the opportunity to learn — to learn from world-renowned speakers, to learn
about the latest in dairying trends and to learn from each other.
i encourage you to share your views of the dairy industry from your business’ perspective. dairy Australia is the industry’s national service
company, owned by dairy farmers and industry bodies. For this reason it is vital that you, as a dairy farmer or service provider, talk with
dairy Australia’s team members and share your experiences and thoughts. The Australian dairy conference is a great vehicle to do so.
This year’s conference follows the theme of sea change; see change. Following on from a period of extreme variability in terms of price,
water and environment, this theme is very important. it looks at different ways to deal with future issues and encourage the resilience
of the dairy industry. With topics including risk management, herd management, sustainability, carbon and climate change and new
technology, as well as some great insights from reputable dairy visionaries, there is a strong focus on thinking for the future.
Take this time to benefit from exchanging ideas and information with your peers. By the end of the conference, i hope you will be able
to go home armed with the tools to make decisions about growing your business and the dairy industry as a whole.
i look forward to sharing my first Australian dairy conference with you, and wish you all the best for a time of learning and sharing.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
8 organising committee
10 Program at a glance
11 general information
12 Full Program
17 May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back – Mike Magan
20 dairy Business in china and opportunities to Australia The Perspective from an entrepreneur – su Hao (James)
22 The rivers run dry by not the herd – craig & Penny gallpen
24 Producing efficient and excellent Quality Milk – dr. Andrew P. Johnson
27 The dollar advantage of comfortable cows – Karl Burgi
32 Was 2009 the great recession? (or the recession that made you great) – rick Lundquist
35 A farmer snapshot – gary & Lee Hibberd
36 Kydd Family company – neville & ruth Kydd
38 The practicalities of taking control – dennis Hoiberg
41 Boscawen Holsteins and Jerseys – Tracey russell
43 Alanvale dairy Farm – garry Morrison
44 snapshot: Annette van Velde-oudijk
45 Learnings around Automatic Milking system adoption on-farm – dr Kendra Kerrisk and Mr Bevan ravenhill
50 robotics in future farming systems – where are we going? – dr Kendra Kerrisk
54 Herd navigator® Proactive Herd Management – stefan Bergstrand
56 carbon read dairy demonstration project: carbon emissions at the Macalister demonstration Farm – neil Baker
60 improving reproduction through utilisation of records – dr Matthew izzo, dr John House, dr Alison gunn
63 A dollars and cents look at genetic Merit – Paul douglas
67 simplify Bull selection with selectabull – Michelle Axford
70 The Australian government’s department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2010 Young dairy scientist communication Award.
71 Mooin Transfer – deanne Kennedy and John Hutcheson
72 sub-surface drip irrigation for lucerne production – does it pay? – Melanie Porker
74 detecting ovulating cows is the key to improved reproductive performance – carl Hockey
76 Pasture measurement a key to success in Automatic Milking – daniel dickeson
80 Less grain and more gains: milking from home-grown forage – santiago Fariña’s
83 reducing emissions and growing more grass – is it possible? – Tim Huggins
86 is sexed semen the answer? – dannielle McMillan
The Australian dairy conference encourages all delegates to acknowledge the considerable support afforded to this event by the
following major sponsors*, without whom this event would not be possible.
Major Partner Gold Sponsor
dairy Australia The gardiner Foundation
Locked Bag 104 gardiner Foundation
Flinders Lane Vic 8009 Level5, 84 William street
Melbourne Vic 3000
rabobank Gold Session Sponsor
Box 4577 Artex Barn solutions
sydney nsW 2001 151-32500 south Fraser Way
elanco Concurrent Session Host
Level 5, 123 epping road deLaval Pty Ltd
north ryde nsW 2113 Po Box 1410
Westmeadows Vic 3049
genetics Australia Gold Sponsor
Box 195 Agri8 / Form Feed
Bacchus Marsh Vic 3340 Po Box 6122
Maroochydore QLd 4558
incitec Pivot Tour Sponsor
70 southbank Boulevard dairy nsW
southbank Vic 3006
Gold Sponsor Fonterra Australia
department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 327 Ferntree gully road
Po Box 858 Mt Waverley Vic 3149
canberra AcT 2601
Mulgrave Vic 3170
*The list was correct at the time of going to press.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
Agri8 / Form Feed Holstein Australia
Po Box 6122 Po Box 489
Maroochydore QLd 4558 Hawthorn Vic 3122
Allflex Australia Pty Ltd Incitec Pivot Limited
33 neumann road 70 southbank Boulevard
capalaba QLd 4157 southbank Vic 3006
Artex Barn Solutions Lely Australia Pty Ltd
151-32500 south Fraser Way 48 Mackey street
Abbotsford cAnAdA rochester Vic 3561
BEC Feed Solutions Murray Irrigation Ltd
Po Box 475 Po Box 528
goodna QLd 4300 deniliquin nsW 2710
Castlegate VGS Pty Ltd Pro Dairy Australia Pty Ltd
Po Box 6499 Po Box 2140
Baulkham Hills nsW 2153 Bendigo Vic 3550
Champion Liquid Feeds / Biowish Technologies Probiotec Ltd
Po Box 33 Po Box 2193
inala QLd 4077 Bomaderry nsW 2541
Dairy Constructions Rabobank Australia Limited
Po Box 203 gPo Box 4577
Foster Vic 3960 sydney nsW 2000
DeLaval Pty Ltd Shoof International
Po Box 1410 46-48 Longview court
Westmeadows Vic 3049 Thomastown Vic 3074
Dairy Australia World Wide Sires
Level 5, 60 city road Po Box 3007
south Bank Vic Albury nsW 2640
East Coast Stock Feeds Wrightson Seeds
Po Box 189 Po Box 333
Miranda nsW 2228 Laverton Vic 3930
Elanco Zinpro Performance Minerals
Level 5, 123 epping road Po Box 366
Macquaire Park nsW 2113 Mt eliza Vic 3930
Po Box 5510
Brendale QLd 4500
Proud sponsors of the dinner at Picnic Point
The Australian dairy conference 2010
381 occupation Lane
garvoc, Vic 3265
T: 0437 926 283
Together with Lynne strong (nsW), carl Hammond (Vic), Jill Moxey (nsW), colin Thompson (nsW), Joe chittick (nsW),
Kendra Kerrisk (nsW), Hank Bruger (Vic), glenys christian (nZ) Brad silver (nsW), david nation (Vic), Jock MacMillan (Vic)
The Australian dairy conference Limited Board 2009/2010
Matt Reid - Chair Steve Coates
carlisle-colac road dairy Australia
carlisle river, Vic 3239 Level 5 iBM Tower
firstname.lastname@example.org 60 city road
T: 03 5235 0393 south Bank Vic 3006
T: 03 9694 3700
993 John Allan road
Kyabram Vic 3620 Paul Bethune
email@example.com Bethune Land
T: 03 5859 4238 Lake Boga Vic 3584
T: 03 5037 2898
210 emu Bay road
deloraine TAs 7304 Jock MacMillan
firstname.lastname@example.org University of Melbourne
T: 03 6362 2969 dept Veterinary science
250 Princess Highway
Werribee Vic 3030
1 ottonville road
Angledale nsW 2550
T: 03 9731 2234
02 6492 2428 Jamie Snell
Po Box 143
rMB 1455 graham road
Merrigum Vic 3618
Tongala Vic 3621
T: 0408 503 863 Michael Perich
1675 The northam road
Bringelly nsW 2171
56 Meander Valley road
Westbury TAs 7303
T: 0409 911 369
T: 03 6393 1153
national Foods ADC Secretariat:
Q1 8 Parkview dr Kim d’Arma
sydney nsW Po Box 208
email@example.com Benella Vic 3672
T: 02 8732 5232 firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
An invitation to dairy farmers and service
providers across the nation and beyond
it is with pleasure that we present to you the 2010 Australian dairy conference – a conference convened by dairy farmers for dairy
our decision to take Australian dairy conference to nsW is part of our philosophy of bringing the conference to the regions and our
choice of ‘by the sea’ at Wollongong means that we can offer the double advantage of business and pleasure.
We’ve welcomed the assistance of dairy nsW and its partners in the development of the pre and post conference tours – and have early
indications that these will be incredibly well supported.
At the time of designing the 2010 program, the Australian dairy industry was experiencing almost unprecedented challenge in terms
of price, water and environment. The resilience of our industry however never waivers and it is times like this when farmers need an
opportunity to see different ways of doing things in order to clear the hurdles in front of them - hence the theme – see change; sea
The program has, i believe, wide-ranging appeal. There is something in this for everyone and therefore, a remarkable opportunity to
benefit from the coming together of your peers and to exchange ideas and information in a manner that will send you home in a positive
frame of mind, re-energised to take on the challenges ahead. i know personally, that i have experienced that mind shift after attending
previous Adc events. They are good for the mind and spirit!
Australian dairy conference would not be possible without the very strong support of our partners in dairy Australia, elanco and
rabobank, together with our gold sponsors and many trade exhibits. Their financial contribution is the reason your attendance fee is
as attainable as it is – providing you with what we believe is great value for three days of excellence in information, entertainment and
i commend this year’s conference program to you and encourage you to plan now to visit Wollongong in February 2010 and join with
dairy farmers from all over Australia as well as nZ in what is always a rewarding experience.
Adc 2010 Programming committee
Program at a glance
Tuesday February 23
10.30am Pre conference tour departs novotel Wollongong
3.00pm conference registration desk opens
5.00pm Tour bus returns
6.00pm Welcome function – in the trade exhibition area – including drinks and finger food
8.00pm Welcome function ends
Wednesday February 24
8.00am registration desk and trade show opens
8.20am official conference opening
4.00pm Adc AgM
4.15pm The Australian government’s department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Young dairy scientists’ communications award –
5.00pm day 1 close
6.30pm Pre dinner drinks
7.30pm dinner, featuring special guest speaker, dutch dairy farmer Jan smoulders
Thursday February 25
8.30am conference day 2
5.00pm day 2 close
Elanco Farewell Dinner
5.45pm depart novotel for 10 minute walk to Lagoon restaurant
6.00pm elanco pre dinner drinks and informal dinner, incorporating the announcement of the winner of the dAFF Young scientists’
10.00pm Function closes
Friday February 26
8.30am Buses depart novotel for Leppington Pastoral company
3.00pm Buses depart Leppington for Wollongong and/or Airport
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
The rabobank dinner on Wednesday night is held in the main ballroom at novotel – the same venue as the conference. seating
comprises tables of 10 and seating will be arranged. delegates are asked to check the seating plan during pre dinner drinks. The
rabobank dinner will feature special international guest, dutch agricultural investor Jan smoulders ....
The elanco Farewell BBQ dinner on Thursday evening takes place at the Lagoon restaurant – which just a short walk north along the
beach. This is a very informal evening - a combination of seating styles to allow for optimum networking. The dinner includes the
presentation of the winner of the dAFF Young scientist communication award and culminates with an hilarious presentation from the very
very clever ventriliquiust darren carr. You will go home with sides aching from too much laughter!
The Australian dairy conference AgM
The Adc is run by Australian dairy farmers, for Australian dairy farmers. The Adc philosophy is to provide a truly independent,
challenging forum of information and networking that brings Australia’s dairy farmers together in a unique environment and program.
The ability of the Adc to remain fresh and relevant is enhanced by its composition of a governing board and programming committee.
The opportunity to influence and take part in the ongoing development of the Adc is one that many have taken on as a significant
personal development opportunity as well as an opportunity to ‘give’ to the Australian dairy industry. We encourage your attendance and
consideration of the AgM in order for the directors and programming committee to continue to provide excellence in dairy conferencing.
The Adc AgM takes place mid-afternoon on day 1, just prior to the young scientists’ presentations.
The conferences organises regret to advise the dr Andy Johnson will not be joining the conference in person as per the original advertising.
A change in scheduling has meant dr Johnson has been unable to make the journey to Australia. However, he will join the conference
as per the program, by video.
Post conference tour – Friday February 26
Buses will depart for the Friday post conference tour to Leppington pastoral company at 8.30am sharp. delegates should gather in the
delegates should choose from the ‘airport bus’ – which leaves Leppington and arrives sydney Airport by 5pm; or the Wollongong return
bus. Any delegates catching planes that afternoon should bring their luggage with them.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010
Day 1 - February 24
8.20 An introduction from your Master of ceremonies – Gerry Gannon
8.30 Welcome – Adc conference programming committee chair, James McKinnon
Day 1, Session 1 - Dairy Visionaries
8.35 Introduction: rabobank’s global dairy analyst Tim Hunt introduces this session where e get into the minds of three remarkable
individuals. An irishman, a chinaman and an Australian. Here have a remarkable opportunity to share their vision for dairy –
locally, nationally and internationally – and help us as farmers to refine our own visions for the next five years.
8.40 May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back...: The irish are well known for their warmth and
optimism as this saying goes. They are also known to be well travelled and can have one eye at home and one eye abroad
at the same time. irish dairy farmer and industry leader Mike Magan provides such a view for the dairy industry, with a
positive outlook for the future of the irish industry and for countries like Australia. Mike explores: What are some of the keys to
setting up our industry for success?
9.15 A towering inferno. Massive change is occurring in the chinese dairy industry. The Melamine outbreak has no doubt
provided a wake-up call and perhaps accelerated the rate of change that some analysts suggest could result in china
becoming a significant exporter of quality milk powder within five years. charismatic chinese dairy entrepreneur Su Hao
(James) provides his perspective and vision for the chinese dairy industry (which is underpinned by his recently completed
MBA degree awarded by new York’s Fordham University), on the founder of chinese dairy manufacturing giant Meng niu).
While he’s at it, we ask also, what impact such growth may have on Australia – especially in the face of increased chinese
investment activities in Australian dairying.
9.45 The rivers run dry but not the herd. riverina dairy farmers Craig and Penny Gallpen from Warragoon, nsW have a vision
for riverina dairy farming. Their vision must rise above the triple whammy of climate change; water change (from a commodity
to a political football) and milk price; and the social welfare implications that reach into the heart of their community. This – a
rare opportunity to hear how they do it.
10.15 Speakers Forum – an opportunity to question and discuss.
10.30 Morning Tea – sponsored by Fonterra
Day 1, Session 2 – Herd management NSW style
nsW dairy farmers have a reputation as significant users of external consultants. Today we bring to you three of the really
big guns direct from the Us – an international panel on animal health and nutrition – to extend your thinking, bend your mind
a little and challenge you to pick the eyes out of their way of doing things. Their presentations take a close look at some of
the hidden cow costs – the ones that don’t necessarily appear on the balance sheet. Firstly we give you a snapshot of the
philosophies behind each of these specialists – as a forerunner to you choosing two intensive workshops to follow.
11.00 Udderly healthy: Udder doctor Andy Johnson joins us by video to provides his philosophy behind the holistic approach to
11.25 The dollar advantage of comfortable cows: Karl Burgi is credited as the man responsible for keeping several of Australia’s
most intensive dairy herds mobile. But his philosophies and their application extend way passed cows on concrete. Karl
challenges the Australian dairy farmer to look at cow comfort with new eyes, including one on the balance sheet.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
11.50 Nailing Nutrition: specialist feed systems company agrig8 has invested in the thinking of acclaimed Us nutritionist Rick
Lundquist and brought him to Adc. rick says that no matter what system you subscribe to, optimal feeding is the ticket to
success. in this segment rick takes a top line look at matching feed to feed availability and milk price.
12.20 A look in our own back yard: Three of our own join our Mc Gerry Gannon ‘on the couch’ to talk about their own way of
doing things in the area of animal health and nutrition – and of course, we can’t but resist ask their opinions on what they’ve
just heard from our international panel and give them a dose of an Aussie reality check:
• Neville & Ruth Kydd, Finley, NSW
• Gary & Lee Hibberd, Timboon, Victoria
• Hank Bruger, Group Advisor, Warakirri Dairies P/L
1.00 The Incitec Pivot Luncheon
Day 1, Session 3 – Delegates can choose to attend two workshops – of 40 minute duration.
2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Concurrent 3.1 Concurrent 3.2 Concurrent 3.3 Concurrent 3.4
Thinking Differently Managing lameness In a Nailing Nutrition Everybody’s different
changing dairy industry
dairy analyst Steve Spencer Preventing lameness in a Astute Supplementation: Lessons from a Longneck:
is joined by Mike Magan changing dairy industry Rick Landquist explores the Farm consultant Les Sandles
and Su Hao (James) to takes more than identifying real opportunities of astutely explores the Longneck farm
explore their approach to and treating lame cows. in managed supplements and discussion group philosophy
entrepreneurship. For those this segment, Karl Burgi will concentrates in order to with Craig and Penny Gallpen
wanting just a mere dose reveal the causes of lameness optimize pasture production. to have a look at what makes
of their enthusiasm and and present field-tested This segment is brought to you them tick and their farm
insatiable desire to succeed, strategies to prevent lameness. by agrig8. systems so successful.
we ask them to share their
philosophy on wealth creation
2 .45 2.45 2.45 2.45
Concurrent 3.1 Concurrent 3.2 Concurrent 3.3 Concurrent 3.4
Thinking Differently Optimising udder health Optimising Feed Conversion Everybody’s different – part II
(Session repeated) Efficiency
dairy analyst Steve Spencer Dr Andy Johnson takes Argentinian nutritionist Dr Les Sandles continues his
is joined by Mike Magan a more detailed look at Fernando Bargo offers his discussion session, this time
and Su How (James) to the management practices perspective of feed conversion with Neville and Ruth Kidd
explore their approach to that will achieve optimum efficiency and explores if and Chris and Lee Hibberd.
entrepreneurship. For those udder health, critical now we are pushing the ceiling Two very different farming
wanting just a mere dose as penalties for non- far enough. This segment is systems, two equally
of their enthusiasm and compliance increase and brought to you by Elanco and successful results.
insatiable desire to succeed, quality standards for premium Dairy Australia.
we ask them to share their payments are lowered. The
philosophy on wealth creation economics are a driving
through enterprise. force – and udder health is
3.30 Afternoon Tea
Day 1, Session 4
4.00 ADC AGM
4.15 The dAFF Young scientists’ communication Award
Led by Jock Macmillan & David Nation this rapid-fire session where the audience is the judge, has become a unique highlight of
the Australian dairy conference. Featuring seven young scientists who showcase their research work in a four-minute powerpoint,
backed up by posters and a magazine article.
5.15 day 1 close
Rabobank Industry Dinner
6.30 Pre dinner drinks
7.30 rabobank dinner with special guest, dutch agricultural investor, Jan Smoulders.
Day 2 - February 25
Day 2 , Session 1 – Taking control
Hosted by the gardiner Foundation
8.25 Welcome to Day 2 – with the Gardiner Foundation
8.30 Taking charge of dairy destiny: We ask respected dairy analyst steve spencer to put the thinking of yesterday’s opening
speakers into Australian farming terms. steve believes we can take better charge of our destiny and this is his view of how to.
9.00 A risk, a gamble or a bloody great opportunity? over time, dairy consultant Les Sandles has subjected himself and his clients
to each of these categories. The experiences have been both sobering and rewarding. With the benefit of 2020 vision, we
ask him to reflect on the follies of some of the big corporate dairies that are with us no longer; and what from this plus his own
experiences can help removes the gamble factor and shores up the opportunity within our family dairy business to take control.
9.30 Farmer control: is it fact or Fantasy: our host gerry gannon takes on Spencer and Sandles for a robust exploration of their
9.45 The practicalities of taking control: rapidly changing market signals and variable weather patterns have contributed to an
unprecedented rise in debt to equity ratio on dairy farms in the last decade. The roller coaster of opportunity and disappointment
produces a set of circumstances that requires a balanced decision-making process that takes into account possible financial and
family stress. consultant Dennis Hoiberg from the Melbourne-based rimfire resources takes a look at the science of how to deal
with high and low risk decision making.
10.15 On the couch: Two farmers, representing opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of approach to risk, join dennis to give a
snapshot of significant decisions made within their businesses in the last three-to-five years: seventh generation local dairy farmer
Tracey Russell and ‘seven minute’ Victorian dairy farmer Garry Morrison (zero to 3000 cows in three years) share their secrets
to sanity, their vision for 2020 and dennis’s commentary on their approach to task.
Day 2, Session 2 – Sustainability: An essential component of dairy business
11.15 Social and environmental trends and dairy farming: sustainability strategist Paul Gilding, a former executive of greenpeace
international and leading business advisor to companies including dupont, Ford, Fonterra and the AnZ challenges us to respond
to the increasing social and environmental pressures in a manner that will create value for dairy. Paul has received international
recognition for his thought leadership. in 1992, the influential World economic Forum (WeF) appointed hima global Leader for
Tomorrow at its annual meeting in davos, switzerland. This was followed in 1993 with the Australian Prime Minister presenting
Paul with an Australia day Award for outstanding Achievement for services to the environment. in december 1994, he was listed
by Time international in its “Time’s global 100 Young Leaders for the new Millennium” and in 1997, he received the prestigious
Tomorrow Magazine environmental Leadership Award.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
11.45 A factor of 10: if we thought Australian dairy farming was undergoing intense scrutiny, spare a thought for dutch dairy farmer
Annette van Velde who provides us with a first-hand look at what the customer and the government expect of milk producers
in europe. Annette is grappling with the challenge of growing a dairy from 100 cows to 1000 - in an environment where
regulation, radicals and bureaucracy know no bounds. she has all the numbers to justify the economics but she has some hurdles
still iln the way between their plans and success. Annette is a member of the dutch european dairy Farmers executive and her
reality should ring some warning bells if we are intent on staying ahead of the regulators.
12.15 Are robots part of our sustainable future?
narrikup, Western Australia dairy farmer Bevan ravenhill heads up one of the largest and most successful dairy family businesses
in Western Australia and has been pitching the robot concept to his father, two brothers and their partners for some time as ‘the
next frontier’ for ravenhill dairies. Widely regarded as cutting edge dairy farmers, the family have put the pressure on and said
to Bevan: “only if it works and makes economic sense to our business”. Bevan has recently completed a visit to four dairy farms
who have made the commitment to Automated milking. This is what he found:
1.00 The Genetics Australia Lunch
Day 2, Session 3
2.00 Concurrent options: Each session repeats – running 50 minutes each. Delegates can choose two
Concurrent 3.1 Concurrent 3.2 Concurrent 3.3 Concurrent 3.4
new Technologies carbon data analysis Bringing the pasture inside: is
– hosted by De Laval – hosted by Dairy Australia – hosted by Genetics Australia there a better way?
– hosted by Artex Barn Solutions
New Technology Facing up to Carbon The cycle of life: When data Bringing the pastures inside
in this session, camden rabobank’s general manager really is sexy John de Jonge, President of
University’s Dr Kendra of Food and Agri research and • Reproductive analysis Artex Barn solutions Ltd and
Kerrisk and DeLaval’s smart Advisory, Justin Sherrard has that actually makes his north American partners
Farming experts explore the an extensive background in a difference: sydney are considered the experts
possibilities that come with carbon and climate change and University’s Matt Izzo when it comes to building free
new technology: takes the chair in this session. gives the detail. stall barns around the world.
How will technology change He introduce’s dairy Australia’s
the way we milk, feed and Chris Phillips knows better than • A dollars and cents look This highly practical session
manage cows? anyone the challenge ahead at genetic merit: With looks at the nuts and bolts
can we increase productivity that we face with fitting dairy hundreds of dollars of quality barn design, the
based on the information that into the new carbon world. He difference between the challenges of moving from a
is captured during milking? is directly involved in informing top and bottom groups pasture to barn operation and
How can we utilise technology environmental Minister Penny of cows in Maffra, Paul how to avoid the production
to make early decisions Wong on the implications of Douglas from genetics issues that are commonly
regarding treatment and carbon trading on dairy farms Australia explores this. associated with free stall
management of health, and this is a unique opportunity barns.
• How to make ADHIS data
nutrition, reproduction and to hear from chris and enjoy work for you – select bulls With a track record of
well being? some detailed discussion and using your own criteria! building barns for 200
deLaval calls the answer to questioning to help us prepare for Michelle Axford explains. through to 20,000 cows in
this “smart Farming”: Labour, the carbon future on dairy farms. europe, south America, saudi
lifestyle and oh so much more! Arabia, china and north
Macalister demonstration Farm
robot user Annette van project manager Neil Baker America, there is no shortage
Velde, and robot would-be is heading up a project to of experience in this session!
user Bevan Ravenhill join the identify the source and size of
discussion panel. carbon emissions generated by
normal dairy farm operations.
This information will be used to
develop a carbon emissions
reduction Plan that includes
strategies to minimise and offset
carbon emissions and an analysis
of the financial impact of the
plan on the farm business. This
puts neil in a unique position to
deliver the on farm perspective of
what it all really means.
4.00 afternoon tea
Day 2, Session 4 – Finale
4.00 The Pitch for Dairy: A team of school students with aspiration for dairy go head to head “gruen Transfer style” in what is the
culmination of the cows create careers project. enjoy a great finale as we hear from the voice of youth, about the case for a
career in the dairy industry.
4.30 Conference reflection – meet the new Managing director of dairy Australia – Ian Halliday
4.45 Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity: The charismatic Paul Gilding sends us home with a finale message.
5.30 Refreshments await! relocate to the elanco finale, including announcement of the dAFF communications Award and the
fabulous ventriloquist Darren Carr.
6.00 elanco Finale dinner at Lagoon restaurant
7.30 Award Presentations commence
Post conference tour
See Australia’s largest family-owned dairy farm
Friday February 26 departing novotel Wollongong at 8.30am
With special workshops conducted by Burgi, Johnson and Lundquist
The Leppington Pastoral co (LPc) is a family owned and operated dairy farm nestled in the township of Bringelly. Kolombo and Julia Perich
founded the dairy in 1951 at Leppington, new south Wales, milking 25 cows. The current operation is run by the third generation of
the Perich family and features a 2000 cow dairy freestall facility. The post conference tour is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into
the workings of this intensive facility on sydney’s outskirts.
it is a story of remarkable animal and environmental management, drawing on the expertise of various consultants who specialise in
intensive dairying systems.
on arrival at Leppington, delegates will be greeted by the Perich family and then divided into four working groups and rotated around
four stations, each for an hour duration:
• Karl Burgi lameness workshop and hoof care demonstrations
• Rick Lundquist nutrition workshop
• Perich Dairy inspection
Tour buses depart Leppington at 3.00pm, with options for returning to the airport or novotel Wollongong.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind
always be at your back
i am a 56 year old dairy farmer from the middle of ireland. My son now runs the farm with me and this releases me to spend time on
industry issues. i’ve had a very varied and eclectic involvement in the industry over the past 20 years. some of this has been a progression
from one organisation to another and some of it is not connected.
i am currently chairman of Animal Health ireland, a state and industry initiative, not unlike Animal Health Australia in its structure and
objectives. This organisation is now one year old and is making significant progress with help from many others, including dairy Australia.
i am the chairman designate of the Agricultural Trust which publishes the irish Farmers Journal. i am currently chairman of the dairy
research stakeholder group in Moorepark which is our main dairy research facility.
in the past i have served as a director of ireland’s second largest dairy co-operative and was chairman for four years. during that time i
served as a director of the irish dairy Board (idB) and have been deputy president of the organisation of co-operatives in ireland. i’ve been
chairman of the irish Holstein Friesian Association and past president of the irish grassland Association. i have also served as chairman
of the irish branch of the european dairy farmers.
so, make up your own mind. i’ve either got loads of experience or i don’t stick at anything for very long! coming to Australia to suggest
what you do with your industry is dangerous, as any of you can rightly ask why haven’t you got the irish industry sorted? Believe me, we
are trying. And the work continues but painstakingly slowly. Before i took my current position as chairman of Animal Health ireland i met
the Minister of Agriculture about the role. i expressed my continued interest in dairy industry reform but was convinced that with progress
being so slow there would still be time for the new role!
ireland dairy industry analysis
The irish dairy industry has a fragmented structure when compared to some of our international peers. ireland has 30 dairy societies with
13 involved in milk processing and while the industry has some strong companies with a global scope irish dairy farmers would benefit
from further consolidation. Before any conclusions about the future are reached it is important that we assess the strengths and weakness
of the industry while being mindful of the social concerns and the opportunities and commercial threats which actually exist out there.
in ireland six companies process 80% of the milk while in denmark, the netherlands and new Zealand one company processes 80%
of their respective milk pools. some of our processing plants are as efficient as anywhere in the world and significant improvements have
been made within the industry in recent years. But, it should be remembered that the global dairy industry is capital intensive and the
irish dairy industry is no different.
Measurement of some of our processing co-ops shows that they are operationally efficient, given our seasonal production curve, but under
returns on investment measures the irish industry is behind some of our competitors. in part, this is due to our seasonal production curve,
high dependence on commodities and lack of economics of scale so the quest for continuous improvement and strategies to maximise
returns must continue.
ireland is one of the few countries in the world today where its dairy marketing division, the irish dairy Board, is separated from its
processing and research function. The countries that operated separated marketing boards like new Zealand, denmark and Finland have
now fully integrated the marketing function into their dairy models.
our dairy industry has a good image, produces high quality milk, has low production costs and has developed some good routes to
market. But the simple fact of the matter is that there are other regions in the world where milk can be produced at a lower cost, so it’s
imperative that whatever market we’re going to be in we need to be the most efficient possible.
ireland has attracted some of the leading players in the infant formula sector. it is estimated that the combined turnover of these players in
ireland last year was in the region of €667m. Between them they supplied 15% of the global requirements for infant formula and in terms
of the eU it is estimated that ireland supplies 40% of the eU’s infant formula requirements.
Yet, despite these economic successes and other down stream economic possibilities, the focus on research and development within the
irish dairy industry is extremely low. The level of expenditure on r&d on an annual basis is estimated at less than 0.05% of overall turnover.
Further focus needs to be placed on r&d, however a prerequisite to this is a properly functioning dairy model.
The disconnect between processors and the end market is impacting on research and development within the irish dairy sector and this
disconnect is also having an impact on creating a new streamlined dairy industry. While we have some r&d expertise these talents are
not being fully harnessed and it is difficult to see how r&d can evolve on a global commercial basis under the current structures, given
the fragmented milk pool and the funding required.
The capital expenditure programmes by the irish dairy co-ops pales in comparison to our competitors. given the number of co-ops in
ireland it follows that there is duplication of functions across the sector.
ireland is ranked 31st in the world in terms of milk production and 80% of our milk is exported. our competitors have taken the lead in
consolidating their industries and are actively partnering with global food players at a time when these players are opting to work with
fewer suppliers. retailers are now operating across borders and the way they conduct their business will have implications for all our
dairy companies. our current structures mean that we cannot bridge this gap and this will remain the case as long as these structures are
in place.At retail level intense competition has lead to a situation where, in the major markets, the three top retailers control more than
two-thirds of the total purchases. The increased sales of private label products will impact hugely on the global dairy industry.
The overall pace of change in the irish dairy industry has been historically slow and behind that of our competitors. in terms of milk
price, the average irish milk price has trailed behind the eU 15 for the years between 1996 to 2007. in summary, the global market is
competitive and weak businesses will not survive in the short to medium term. This also applies to weak co-ops and milk processors. eU
policy is moving away from direct supports in order to have a sustainable irish dairy industry a plan is required.
The past two to three years have been extremely volatile in milk price terms. What we can we learn from this is that this kind of volatility
can happen and that factors far removed from our industry can have such an impact on our livelihoods. The biggest question is, can we
do anything about it? in a world of growing retailer consolidation the power of the retailer is massive. As a disjointed industry producing
commodities for a world market we are insignificant. When we combine and get an agreed strategy we can start to address this issue.
Australian dairy industry analysis
The past ten years many of your colleagues have left the industry. i was here at the time of deregulation and i was very keen to see what
kind of impact that had on your industry. At that time there was great concern as to what impact it would have and i suggest to you now
that it was not nearly as much as you initially feared. Many of the changes that have occurred in the past ten years have been as a result
of climate, water, market volatility and natural wastage. When i was last here ten years ago my opening remarks were “The Australian
dairy industry has an interesting choice to make. do you take short term gain and hope for a good future or do you organise your industry
and shape your own future”. i think that question is still relevant. My last two sentences ten years ago were “a fundamental question is
why should profits generated by the sweat of the farmers brow go to others? i firmly believe in farmer ownership and control but the way
we exercise this ownership and control must change to reflect the pressures of the 21st century”.
The issues that we all have in common as dairy farmers is how do we retain the maximum margin as primary producers? We are in the
commodity markets, a vicious place of low returns and massive power wielded by super powers. The only way to tackle this is on a united
front. As a nation you consume around 55% of what you produce. This may grow with population growth and increased spending power.
How you manage the export portion of national output will determine where you go over the next ten years.
The countries i admire most for having a clear strategy are new Zealand, Holland, and denmark/sweden. Finland is also an interesting
example of an industry with a strategy but it is more relevant to their unique circumstances. The principle, nonetheless, is the issue of
i had a brief visit to Australia in August and got an impression of a “can do” attitude among the farmers i met. i noticed resourcefulness
and determination to tackle what lies ahead. What i did not examine was how involved farmers are in shaping the future direction of their
industry. i hope it is an active involvement!
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
issues facing your industry are;
• Water (we have too much, you have too little)
• Land use (where grass will grow and what kind of animal should use it)
• What products to produce
• Who processes
• What markets
• How to sell the products, by whom and with whom?
i like what dairy Australia does, and how it responds to the farmers’ needs. This will be an ever-changing scene and will need continued
refinement and focus. The equivalent organisation in ireland is Teagasc, and there we have decided to concentrate on what is our main
strength…grass. We are very good at growing grass but yet have huge range in output per hectare across the country, despite virtually
no climatic or soil variation. our focus for research is in this key area, but also keeping an eye on genetics, fertility, calf rearing and low
We are a rural based country with low population. We have relatively poor land use and i believe we can double dairy output over the
next ten years. Quotas will go in five years time and currently beef is a vey low margin enterprise. There is an opportunity for a major
shift from beef production to either dairying, or contract rearing young stock for expanding dairy farms. Farms are small and ownership
of land is a very emotive subject, but still the potential for growth is real. output will be seasonal, linked to the grass growth curve, and at
a low cost. some may choose a higher output per cow model, but if they do they will be more vulnerable to market fluctuation, and will
work harder for lower return. The future will be dominated by farmers focussed on profit per hectare, not on output per cow.
europe post quotas will not change dramatically, but will see a shift in production to the grass growing regions. This means that ireland,
western parts of the U.K., parts of France, Holland, Belgium and germany, will form the major dairying regions. southern european
countries will continue to produce for the local market, but costs of production there will be too high to have any influence on the export
market. other areas of the world that will be major players into the future include; the U.s. which has major production potential but
structural problems; south America, where political issues are a factor; new Zealand, as today, will continue to dominate the market,
but have a more finite land mass than others; and china intends to grow, but i believe will hit the ‘water wall’ first and may opt to import
more and more product. Their presence in the market will be the biggest single issue for the next ten years.
The Australian dairy industry is quite unique. The area covered is huge by any terms and the link to domestic consumption and milk
production is very clear. The domestic supply is somewhat insulated from international markets but contract renewal will tend to be linked
to prevailing world markets. This domestic market is very important to the Australian industry, the export portion of your industry is much
more vulnerable to world trends. i believe your domestic market will grow beyond your current 50-55% of national production as your
population grows, spending power increases and changing consumption patterns among some of your immigrants.
The problems or solutions that you face are different to the ones we are looking at in ireland. reorganising the dairy processing part of
your industry is more difficult given the demographics but the one real area for reform is in how you market the commodity portion of
your industry. Butter, cheese and milk powders are bought and sold in ‘000s of tonne lots. so the organisations that control the bigger
quantities of these commodities will have the greatest influence on the market in future. i’m aware of your different ownership models in
your industry but that should not prevent you from looking at how to best market your product collectively.
in today’s open world market it is impossible to stop free trade, but that should not prevent the Australian industry in creating the maximum
possible awareness of home product to cultivate a loyalty among Australian consumers for your own produce. A small example of this
is where the irish industry has recently started a campaign of irish branded milk endorsed by one of our top rugby players. We live in a
very competitive market but national pride is always worth cultivating.
The number one question for dairy farmers anywhere in the world is “how do we retain the maximum margin of the final price for
ourselves?” notwithstanding the variation in structures and ownership models internationally, we do produce one of the finest wholesome
products in the food chain. if coca-cola owned the formula for milk just think how much a litre would cost you today! We will not be
able to get a full reward for our endeavours but we need to combine our efforts to get more than we currently do. The interaction between
producers, processors and the market are very varied internationally. How we interact, the amount of interest we take and also our
involvement in this question of maximum return will determine our future. it’s when we get passionate on this subject we will be able to
start clawing back what is rightfully ours.
dairy Business in china and opportunities to Australia
The Perspective from an entrepreneur
Su Hao (James)
co-founder, director and general Manager
east rock Limited
in early 2004, one of my MBA assignments was to conduct a case study of a chinese company on entrepreneurship. i chose Meng-niu
dairy corp., a company launched in 1999 and became one of the top three liquid milk providers in china in 2003. The case study on
this miraculous growth gave me a chance to look at dairy business in china for the first time in my life. since then, my personal contact
with the dairy industry has been limited to simply consuming dairy products on a regular basis with little interaction other than what i
read in the news papers. However, in 2007, opportunities arose in the dairy business, and together with my business partners, we have
been creating another miracle in this industry. Within less than three years’ time, east rock Limited, the company i founded with a group
of ambitious young entrepreneurs, has become one of top four enterprises in china in dairy facility development business. Why we are
determined to pursue the success of this business for our future? What the opportunities for us? And what are the opportunities in china
for our Australian dairy colleagues? By trying to discover the answers to such questions, this presentation is going to bring a brief look of
china dairy business, where it was, where it is, and where it is going. it may not be an intellectual and academic report, but surely, it
will be a true story and a real perspective from a dairy entrepreneur.
We can not ignore the cultural factor for any particular industry. Food structure is an important piece of it, especially in china. There is a
famous old chinese saying; the masses regard food as their heaven (prime want). Were dairy products showing up everyday on the table
of most households? if not, why? is that changing now? How many more changes are there going to be in the future? The presentation
will start by answering these questions, toward the discovery of a reasonable positioning of dairy industry in china and its great potentials
for the future growth.
getting excited by having envisioned such a huge potential growth, we still need a snapshot of the dairy industry today. With a
population of over 1.3 billion, why the total number of dairy cattle is only under 13 million?
• Why the national average per cow production is less than half of which in US and Canada?
• Why dairy farmers were still losing money while the raw milk price in China was 50% higher than that in US?
• Where and how are the dairy cattle raised?
• Where are the feed from?
• Who are raising cattle in China?
• Where are the dominant markets of the dairy products?
• Who are the dominant consumers?
• What dairy products are the most popularly consumed?
• What is the national per capita consumption of dairy products today, and its comparison to the global average and that of the
Yes, you will find out answers to all these questions from this presentation; and a quick insight will be concluded.
While the “was” and “is” questions are answered, we are ready to trace where it is going. Let us take a closer look of the upstream of
this industry. How many sizeable dairy farms have been built or being built in the recent years? in what ways are the dairy cattle raised
on those farms? What farm sizes are typical in this new trend? Who are the driving forces of this trend? Who are investing? Why do they
invest? What is the role of the government in this trend? Are there challenges?
Yes, there are many challenges in the dairy industry in china. Food safety issue is a typical example. no one will ever forget the
melamine issue exposed on september 11th of 2008. Why it happened? While we say it was almost a vital strike to this fragile industry,
why we still see positive impacts to the long term development of chinese dairy industry? Why this issue triggered a swifter growth in
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
• The Industry is aiming at providing Quality Milk confident consumers; sizeable dairy farms will play a significant role with no doubt.
However, what other potential challenges for them are on the road?
• How to improve the efficiency of those farms?
• How to guarantee the returns of such investment?
• How to make it a long term profitable business?
• Without sound solutions to all these question marks, we can hardly say it will absolutely not become a flash in the pan.
• However, how to make it “evergreen”?
The erection and implementation of the concept of scientific development is a popular political term in china. The interpretation for the
dairy industry, especially the upstream, is that the sizeable farms (and all farms) have to be developed and managed in a scientific way.
While people say the enormous success of china economy over the last thirty years was a miracle, we should never forget the contribution
of the import and introduction of “foreign” technology. especially in the era of global economy, china is open to the world with a global
vision. china dairy industry is looking for technologies from developed dairy nations. By grouping up six different companies from Us
and canada, whose histories varies from 30 to 50 years in the facility sector of dairy development, respectively in dairy design, cow
comfort, housing equipment, ventilation, cooling, waste processing, and construction, east rock international dairy team was set up in
the mid of 2007 and became a pioneer of scientific and efficient dairy facility development in chinese dairy business. over the last 3o
months, east rock has been involved in a Large percentage of the new dairies constructed in china and has won sound goodwill from
the industry. in addition to the ties with numerous dairies, east rock runs workshops with Ministry of Agriculture and dairy Association of
china all over the country to provide guidance and assistance to dairy farmers with mature dairy facility expertise. However, technology
does not refer to facility and hardware alone. scientific management will play a more significant role when a good facility is in place. is
scientific management a combination of formulas of software only? no, far beyond that; and that is experience – experience of modern
dairy management from developed dairy nations.
Looking at the accelerating growth of chinese dairy industry, what are the opportunities for Australia? As you may know, Australia and
new Zealand are the top two origins of heifers for china. And the growth rate of heifer import easily hit triple digits in 2009. Large
quantities of bulk milk powders are flown into china from oceania as well. However, what else can be done? Being satisfied at the
success of today, shall we plan for more and for tomorrow?
during our personal involvement in the dairy construction in china the past 3 years, we have seen thousands and thousands of Australian
and new Zealand dairy cattle imported to china. As the dairy industry continues to gain momentum and grow rapidly this trend will
likely continue as there are great success stories with the quality of the cattle originating from Aus and nZ. in 2009, 45,000 dairy cattle
were imported for Aus and nZ and we see this number likely to continue to grow.
one other potential opportunity for Aus dairy industry as we see it is that while the melamine scandal is still fresh and real in the chinese
consumers minds, a reasonable portion of the consumers are seeking high quality milk and dairy products from foreign countries.
The infrastructure within china is fragmented and will take some time before a trusted and wholesome milk product will be available
consistently to the chinese public.
Last but not least, the senior management of Yili group, the no.1 dairy products provider with an estimated sales of over rMB 24
billion (abt. AUd 3.9 billion) in 2009, has a message to our Australian dairy colleagues. They are looking for experienced dairyman
to work with them. Many options are available for potential investors and professional managers. They are ready to help you get your
land, launch your own farm, and buy milk from you. They are ready to lease their farm to you, and buy milk from you. They are ready to
provide senior job opportunities to you who will confidently manage their farms. Your experiences of managing farms will demonstrate
great value there. Although Yili is a dairy giant in china, such invitation is not only from this enterprise, it is from the industry. off course,
there are many details to evaluate before we conclude that feasible; and there will be various opportunities in addition to what have been
covered in this presentation.
Mate, jumping on a flight to the north, ten hours away from home, you will see china. Welcome to my homeland! You will love my country
just like i love Australia; and what’s more, i believe you will find your own opportunity there.
The dairy industry has a promising future, but the road will not be easy. There will be challenges. However, it is encouraging to see more
and more elites like the people of east rock entering into this industry. To east rock and all people with inspiration, the value of success
in the dairy business will not be limited at a foreseeable economical return alone. in addition to it and on top of it, the improvement of
life quality for the human being, and the enhancement of welfare for the human being will be achieved.
Mate, let‘s do it! And let’s do it together!
The rivers run dry by not the herd Farm snapshot
“La Villa” 103ha
A presentation from Craig & Penny Gallpen 503 ML Allocation
Warragoon nsW Milking 350 holsteins (4 million litres)
dairy 15 d/up rapid exit herringbone
craig left school to come home on the farm with his parents in 1984. He took courses in nutrition, Ai, preg testing and dairy farm
management. He had a keen interest in learning about genetics and conformation of a dairy cow which still exists today but has been
overshadowed by the focus on feeding a cow for maximum milk production.
Penny was born and bred in Blighty. Her parents were rice growers, an industry which has suffered greatly in this period of uncertain
water alllocations. After teaching for 10 years, she now works full time on the farm mostly involved in bookwork.
craig’s parents gave him the opportunity at an early age to make management decisions which quickly led to controlling all areas of the
business. About 10 years ago, a succession plan was developed with our financial adviser and we now own the business, with craig’s
parents in semi-retirement.
in the past returns have come from high water allocations allowing us to grow low cost feed. Up until 2003 we grew summer pasture to
feed cows from november to March, then irrigated winter pasture 2 or 3 times to grow annuals from March to october and conserve
the excess in the spring. in 2003 our water allocation was just 8% which was a frightening prospect. The next few years saw a reduced
allocation but enough to irrigate at a high cost. Then in 2007 and 2008 our allocation was zero, followed by 9% in 2009. obviously
change was inevitable. summer pasture was no longer sustainable.
in the past 3 years there have been major shifts in the way we dairy farm. some of the most crucial focuses have been:
1. Maximising Milk Production
our aim has always been to increase milk production to dilute our fixed costs. in 2004 we purchased 150 cows, almost doubling the
herd size. in 2008 when faced with a declining milk price, we were looking to once again increase production. rather than invest in
more cows, we decided to utilize our existing capital and milk the fresh cows 3 times per day. The herd was already split into fresh and
stale cows both for management reasons and feed use efficiency. so the transition was a slight change in milking times and sourcing and
managing extra labour. We are continually ironing out wrinkles, but day to day operations generally run smoothly.
2. Water Use Efficiency
reduced water availability and an uncertain water future has brought about the most rapid change for us. We have become a semi
feedlot which has required some capital investment (feed pads, troughs, mixer wagon, extra tractor). it has also become more labour
intensive with feeding cows and maintaining the feed pad being a full time job. summer pasture has become a thing of the past and all
available water is used to irrigate annual pasture which gives the most return per megalitre
3. Source Quality Feed
Moving from grazing to lot feeding has emphasized the importance of quality. cows no longer get to choose the best quality and sourcing
this quality feed has become another constant job. in 2007 with no water in the region we had little choices. cows were fed failed wheat
crops which impacted production and ultimately profit. We now choose quality above all else and have networked to build relationships
with grain, lucerne and pasture growers.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
4. Social Networking
The stress involved with managing drought implications and rapid change has been highly publicized. our local community has a wide
range of support groups and continually holds free workshops and farm walks. These are crucial to keeping perspective, enthusiasm and
balance. A few years ago some likeminded dairyfarmers got together to form “The Longnecks” to meet and discuss farm issues over a few
ales. This has become a valuable release valve in these high pressure times and has extended to occasional bus farm tours, golf trips etc.
not to be outdone the wives formed their own group and meet bimonthly to put their issues on the table (mostly the men!).
We are still coming to grips with the major changes of the last few years and have certainly learned a lot. We are optimistic about the
future of dairying and keen to continue to learn and be open to change. Visiting the Us to see other dairy systems has been very valuable.
Also learning from other progressive farmers on our own shores. Moving from being a labour unit to business manager and dealing with
staffing issues is an ongoing challenge. Paying attention to detail including feed quality, cow comfort, operating systems and procedures,
staff communication are all vital as there is less room for error in an intensive system. Planning for work life balance with more flexibility
in being able to take time off and reducing daily workload. More time for longnecks…
continue to use professional consultants. never say never!
Producing efficient and excellent Quality Milk
Dr. Andrew P. Johnson
clintonville, Wisconsin 54929
Mistakenly, most farms only look at scc or clinical mastitis as their gauge to the quality of milk they produce. it is important to understand
that efficiency is also a major factor in the total milk quality picture. Many years ago, i coined a phrase, “The Mastitis Triangle” which
is widely used throughout the dairy industry yet today. The “Mastitis Triangle” looks at the total quality milk picture by addressing the
relationship of the milking routine, the milking equipment and the cow (environment and bacteria). dairies that look at the total picture end
up with lower scc, fewer clinicals and faster milking which are all positive things for a dairy. When only parts of the “Mastitis Triangle”
are looked at, the chances of failure in milk quality are high.
i have made my living for over 30 years consulting in milk quality and on every consultation visit; i look at all three pieces of the triangle.
My largest group of farms milk a total of 65,000 cows, average over 38 kilograms of milk a day, and have an average scc for the
year of 165,000. it is important to know that every load of milk from every farm is tested for scc, sPc, and antibiotic residues without
exception. so the average scc i listed for the year is based on a minimum of 365 scc tests per farm. The farms that ship to this milk
shed must have a low scc or are given 60 days to correct a high scc or are asked to leave or canceled if their scc is over 350,000.
The bottom line is simple; dairies with low scc provide a better quality raw ingredient for the dairy industry which will allow them to give
their consumers better quality products. More importantly, cows with low scc are healthier as well as more profitable.
Milking routine is the most critical when it comes to producing low scc milk, low clinical mastitis and healthier teats. cows with a poor
milking routine will milk slower; have more teat end problems, higher scc and more cases of clinical mastitis. in our dairies that milk
around the clock, they cannot afford to be slowed down and must get as many cows milked per hour in order to be successful. The
dairies that milk the most cows or most pounds of milk per hour are dairies with full milking routines. Most dairy farmers clearly understand
the term overmilking and understand this to be at the end of milking. Unfortunately, 70% of all overmilking occurs at the beginning of
milking rather than at the end. overmilking leads to longer machine on times and more risk to new infections and poor teat end health.
Farmers are convinced they do not have the time to do a full prep and still milk enough cows but i can clearly demonstrate to them they
cannot afford noT to do a full prep.
There are many full milking routines that work but this is the routine i prefer to use on my dairies. Most use a two step approach to each
cow in a group. The first step is to fore strip milk from each teat and then predip each teat. After they have done a group of cows, then
they go back to the first cow in group and wipe the teats dry with a cloth towel and then attach the unit. After the machine is removed,
the teats are dipped and noT sPrAYed. dipping give better coverage and uses less teat dip which saves money.
The latest data in UsA is clearly showing one of the biggest myths is putting machines on sooner milks more cows. Lag time is critical to
milking speed and udder health and is defined as the time from fore stripping to unit attachment. in the past, the gold standard was 45
to 60 seconds of lag time. now the new data show a minimum of 90 seconds of lag time is critical to the over all milking process. A
new study being completed at cornell University has shown longer lag time is definitely better than a shorter lag time. on many of our
large rotary parlors, by simply moving the attacher three or four stalls further back has decreased over all milking times. instead of putting
units on empty teats and overmilking them at the beginning of milking, the teat cups are attached to a full teat with milk let down and the
cow has higher flow rates and faster milking.
i have dairies with double 48 parlors using 4 people and getting 5 turns per hour in the parlor using a full prep. The cows are averaging
over 15 kilograms of milk/milking 3 times a day and have total milking durations of under 4 minutes per cow.
i understand that Australia and new Zealand do not believe in pre-dipping and post dipping and feel they are effective without. However
your own milk quality data clearly shows a problem with scc at the start of lactation and a huge increase in scc towards the end of the
lactation. neither of which are normal but in most places, after awhile the abnormal gets accepted as the normal. Another huge issue in
your country is c. bovis mastitis which is directly related to spraying teats rather than dipping teats. You can either accept the problems
you are having or try proven techniques that will eliminate these problems and add to the profitability of the dairy.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
Milking equipment is not commonly the cause of scc issues unless the equipment is not properly maintained or updated. once in
awhile, milking equipment can malfunction causing serious mastitis problems. The most common malfunction is bad pulsators, poor
vacuum stability, mismatched vacuum level and liners/shells or over used rubber goods. i cannot stress the importance of having the most
important piece of machinery on your dairy properly maintained on a regular basis. After all, this is the machine that harvests your most
important crop that pays most of your bills.
To assure healthy teat ends and comfortable milking, i want to have at least 200 milliseconds of d phase under load during milking.
A common mistake made in the dairy industry is to check pulsators not under load which gives you 20 to 45 more milliseconds than
there actually is. The standard is to always test pulsators either while on the cow milking or with teat dummies in the inflations and the
vacuum on to the claw.
Another very important issue is milking vacuum in the claw during peak milk flow. As far as i am concerned, this is the only vacuum you
need to know on your dairies. if the vacuum is not tested at the claw while a cow is at peak milk flow, the milking system has not been
properly tested. There are no exceptions to this rule. There is not an equipment company anywhere in the world that knows what vacuum
to set your system at without doing claw vacuums at peak milk flow.
setting vacuum any other way is a guess and unfortunately every farm is different because of milk production and equipment installations.
Having the correct claw vacuum at peak milk flow is critical to milking speed as well as teat end health. My recommendations assuming
you have good let down at the beginning of milking and minimal overmilking at the end of milking are to have the claw vacuum at peak
milk flow range from 11.5 to 12.5 inches of mercury (38 to 42 kPa). Milk production as well as milk hose size and length are big
factors in claw vacuum.
Minimizing the machine on time is also a function of the automatic cluster remover (Acr). Many of the new automatic systems allow you
to set maximum machine on times as well so durations can be controlled. When i go to a dairy, i will check cows when the machines
come off by doing residual milk yields. ideally, there will be 250 to 450 ml of milk left evenly divided in the whole udder. When residual
milk yields are lower than 250 ml, the cows are being grossly over milked. Most Acr systems have two settings that can be adjusted.
one is the flow rate to initiate unit removal and that should set between 0.8 and 1.0 kilograms. The other setting is the delay time after
the low flow rate is reached and that number should be set at under 5 seconds. My best dairy has its end of milking flow rate set at 1.2
kilograms and the delay time at 2 seconds. Their herd scc on over 1500 cows is 89,000 for the year with a clinical rate less than
0.7%. cows can be trained to milk fast or slow and unfortunately most farms train them to milk slow.
The environment and housing in my country are much different than in Australia. even though you use pastures and we used confined
free stalls barns, the concepts are the same. cows need to be clean, dry and comfortable 24 hours a day. The fact you rotate pastures
and minimize the time a cow is exposed to manure is important. The real reason most of your herds have high scc in early lactation is
not because that is normal but because the lots these dry cows and springer’s are in are often too dirty. The cleaner the cows at calving
time, the lower the risk to new infections in early lactation. even though the scc drops in the first 60 days after freshening, research data
on over 100,000 complete lactations in the UsA shows that animals with scc over 200,000 on their first test will give 770 kilograms
less milk in that lactation no matter how low the scc goes after the first test. in the UsA, we use aggressive dry cow antibiotic therapy
along with internal teat sealants on all lactating animals and many farms also dry treat springing heifers. other dairies use aggressive
cMT protocols on all fresh cows and heifers. All animals are checked with cMT on day 3 to 5 after calving and if the cMT is positive,
the animals are cultured and treated based on culture results. if the cMT is negative the animals are moved to the clean herd and milked
as normal. To make this process easier on larger herds, all animals that freshen on sunday to Tuesday get one colored leg band on their
rear leg and animals that freshen on Wednesday to saturday are given another color of leg bands. Two times a week, the person in
charge of fresh animals are present for the post fresh pen and on Friday check the animals with the first colored leg band and Tuesday
the animals with the second colored leg bands are checked. This way, all cows can be easily checked by having a person there twice
a week for that pen of cows.
All dairies regardless of their management practices experience cases of clinical mastitis. i would prefer to prevent all mastitis because
when a clinical case occurs, i feel we have lost the battle. When clinical cases do occur, the cow needs to be appropriately treated to
assure cures and fewer cases of repeat clinical mastitis. our dairy industry if finally at the place where dairies can treat the right bug
with the right drug. This is done by doing on farm culturing of all clinical cases. The research world wide shows no reduction in cure
rates when a cow is treated 24 hours later than treated immediately. our dairies have simple culture systems on farm so they have results
in 24 hours or less. if the dairy cannot get culture results in 24 hours or less, then a culture and treat program will not be successful. All
treatments are based on the actual bacteria that are causing the clinical case.
The most important factor affecting cure rates is treatment durations. The dairy industry unfortunately approved most mastitis treatments
not on cures but on how quickly milk would look normal and how soon it could back into the bulk tank. This method has caused many
dairies to have 25 to 70% failures in cure rates and they need to treat many animals multiple times. For instance, strep species causing
bacteria really need a minimum of 5 days of proper antibiotic therapy to get cure rates over 90% while staph species need a minimum
of 3 days. Using the right drug on the right bug for the right time has dramatically improved cure rates and has reduced the number of
repeat clinical cases.
Milk quality is a world wide issue and dairies that are committed to producing the best quality milk will survive the turbulent economic
times in the dairy industry. scc standards will continue to be lowered due to consumer pressure and dairies with low scc will assure
themselves of a place to sell their milk. i would encourage all dairies to evaluate the “Mastitis Triangle” on their farm and make sure all
parts are working properly. it will be the first step you need to take to produce quality milk. All dairies would like to see the dairy plants
pay higher prices for low scc milk but dairy farmers have to understand that over 90% of the economic benefit from low scc dairies
comes from factors other than milk price. it does pay to produce quality milk.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
The dollar advantage of comfortable cows
By Karl Burgi, Dairyland Hoof Care Institute Inc.
Throughout the world, lameness in dairy cows has a huge impact on a dairy farm’s bottom line. it is a known fact that, depending on
farming style and management, up to 60% of cows are affected by lameness annually. As the Australian dairy production is transitioning
from a grazing to a semi-confinement or confinement system, lameness prevention presents a new set of challenges. drs. Malmo and
chesterton estimate lameness in oceana’s grazing herds averages at roughly 8% per year. Much of the lameness (66%) in grazing herds
today is due to trauma, with primarily white line lesions (38%) and toe ulcers (28%) according to chesterton. confinement herds also
have a high occurrence of lameness. An investigation (M.i.endres 2006) into the lameness incidence in 50 confinement dairies in the
state of Minnesota, U.s.A. found the average lameness to be 24.5%. in confinement, sole ulcers and white line lesions are the dominant
claw horn lesions. Additionally, many cows are infected with digital dermatitis lesions. When we look at the economic loss that occurs
from lameness it can range from merely $50 per incidence to over $500 with an average loss per case of about $257. An additional
factor is temperature. research conducted by dr. nigel cook confirms that claw horn lesions are more prevalent following hot weather.
graph 1 shows the association between claw horn lesions and temperature.
dr. cook found cows would stand up to 3 hours longer per day during hot weather. His work showed the extra standing resulted in more
claw horn lesions. dairy cows have a strong behavioral need to rest. According to grant 2006, cows require 12 to 14hours per day of
laying time. reduced resting time decreases feed consumption and increases claw horn lesions. As dairy environments and management
practices change, much more attention must be paid to a high producing dairy cow’s daily time budget in order to reduce lameness.
According to research and observations at the Miner Agriculture research institute such a time budget would look as follows:
Australia’s dairy production is moving from smaller herds, which are strictly grazing type production systems, toward a confinement or
a modified grazing system. Herds are rapidly increasing in size and some of the daily grass rations are supplemented with grains and
This ration is presented to the cows at fence line feeders or feed bunks. While consuming this ration, cows are forced to stand for
extended hours. on the other hand while herd sizes are increasing, cows are also forced to stand longer in milking sheds due to the fact
that milking is done on a whole herd basis.
it is believed that this extra forced standing and longer walking distances are the major contributors to increasing lameness in Australia’s
dairy herds. Animal welfare and consumer attitudes call for an ethical obligation to accommodate natural behavior of dairy cows with
management strategies. The United states national Animal Welfare Audits calls for 90% of dairy cows with locomotion scores of 1 and 2.
change is absolutely vital to correct management practices and reduce lameness.
This requires a commitment from dairy herd owners along with the implementation of a hoof health management plan, which is composed
of the following points:
1. give every cow the opportunity to comfortably rest or lie down for 12 to 14 hours per day.
2. cows must be observed daily for signs of lameness and immediate attention should be given through functional and therapeutic
hoof trimming. it is essential that blocks be used as an aid in healing claw horn lesions. Lame cows should be considered special-
needs cows and may need functional trimming more frequently.
3. cows provided with a proper, functional trim before stresses such as calving, ration changes, and hot weather are far less likely to
become lame following these periods. Functional hoof trimming adjusts claw length, leading to proper claw balance and correcting
the toe angle while leaving enough horn to protect the vulnerable corium. Functional trimming should be learned through a qualified
instructor and regularly scheduled.
4. All cows must be locomotion scored bi-weekly or monthly to assess overall hoof health.
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
5. Assess, and functionally trim if needed, every 1st calf heifer and every cow prior to parturition to ensure the best possible hoof
condition the day of calving.
6. if heifers are raised on a yielding surface (pasture or dry-lots), introduce them to concrete, a non-yielding surface, 6 weeks to 4 weeks
before parturition. This allows the lamina to adjust to the concussion from this non-yielding surface prior to the major change.
7. Minimize time 1st calf heifers stand in milking sheds for the first 2 to 4 weeks following calving to allow them to rest more hours per day.
8. introduce heifers at 7-months pregnant to dry cows, to allow them socially adjust. Waiting longer may adversely affect heifers’ hoof health.
9. Practice excellent herdsmanship by moving cows calmly and quietly. Minimize the use of backing gates (crowd gates) and dogs.
10. Maintain all walking surfaces including tracks, milking, and feeding areas for smoothness, proper traction, and cleanliness.
11. Manage nutrition so cows have access to a consistent diet every hour of the day, 365 days a year.
12. Put in place a heat abatement system to keep cows cool during hot periods.
13. design and construct dairy facilities that are optimal for high-producing cows. Putting cows first improves longevity, reduces
lameness, and increases yields.
14. in case of infectious diseases, a footbath should be used for prevention and treatment.
implementing an aggressive lameness-prevention program is essential to maintain healthy hooves. Producers, managers, and other dairy
professionals must work together closely to identify problems and determine solutions that will improve the productivity of today’s dairy
cows. This team approach yields results and keeps cows on solid footing.
Managing a footbath successfully
Footbaths are an essential element of a lameness-prevention program. instead of treating active infections, they prevent hoof diseases
from spreading. When used properly, footbath solutions condition and strengthen the hoof’s soft tissue, making it more resistant to invasive
pathogens. Footbathing also reduces the bacterial bombardment on the soft tissue. Usage varies at each farm based on environment,
hygiene and stocking density. Leg hygiene scores dictate how frequently the farm must use a footbath.
Design and Placement
carefully consider the footbath dimensions and location. A footbath should be 3.20m to 4.00m long, 45cm to 50cm wide, and 25cm
deep. Place the bath where there is minimal slope, to ensure the solution is at least 10cm deep for the entire length. Make sure the
sidewalls are tall enough to prevent cows from walking on them.
• See the diagrams at the end of the article for details.
Clean Feet Before And After
Hoofs must be clean to be effectively exposed to solution, plus they should enter a clean, dry area after passing through the footbath. i do
not recommend using a wash bath or pre-bath because it rarely yields positive results. The wash-bath solution dilutes the treatment bath.
And the hoof skin will not absorb the solution as readily when it is wet. research indicates that when a pre-bath is used there is up to 4
times more urination and defecation in the treatment bath.
Replace Solution Frequently
Two things compromise the footbath solution’s effectiveness: the number of cows passing through and the length of time the solution
is in use. Anecdotal research indicates most solutions lose their effectiveness after 150 to 200 cow-passes, primarily from manure
contamination. The length of time the solution has been exposed to manure also impacts success rates.
• Note: Overused solutions become a bacterial haven!
How often to use a footbath depends on which infectious diseases are present, and varies by farm and season. The better the hygiene
in the facility, the less frequently the footbath needs to be run. in some cases, one to three passes through an effective solution per week
may control infectious diseases well.
• Note: Keep the bath clean when not in use.
Accommodate Lame Cows
Lame cows are the last cows to exit the milking parlor, usually when the solution is at its weakest.
Rotate Treatment Products
several footbath products are currently available. They are categorized as cleaning agents and disinfectants. rotating cleaning agents
and disinfectants achieves the best results.
detergent, like hand soap and bleach, and feed-grade salt clean the hoof and loosen manure, allowing air to enter the interdigital space.
Use these cleaning agents approximately one-third to one-half of the time, but rotate with disinfectants.
solutions containing copper and zinc sulfates, formalin, quaternary ammonium compounds, and a range of commercial products disinfect
the hoof. Use these to complement cleaning agents.
Calculating solution amount Product rate % liters per100l kg/100l
Always use the correct amount of solution and follow copper sulfate 5 5
the manufacturer’s recommendation. To determine how
Zinc sulfate 5 5
much solution you need, measure the footbath and
calculate the amount, Zinc sulfate 10 10
Formalin 37% 1 1
Concerns with Copper Sulfate
Formalin 37% 2 2
recently the price of copper sulfate has escalated and
concern about soil contamination is causing everyone Formalin 37% 3 3 not
to seek alternatives. some new footbath additives are recommended
now available that make it possible to use 40 to 60 soap and Bleach 1 soap
percent less copper and zinc. it is important to follow 2 bleach
Australian Dairy Conference 2010 Proceedings
For more information, visit www.comforthoofcare.com