Glenn and Sheree Taylor farm a 134-hectare farm in Drummond Southland. Southland has both environmental and legislative challenges. The Taylors focus on creating good sustainable farming practices.
A key concern for the Taylors and many dairy farmers is the wastage and perception of Bobby calves. Glenn has been striving to reduce Bobby calf numbers and takes what would have been a waste product to create a valuable beef animal that can add value to the beef supply chain in New Zealand.
The earliest focus for the Taylors was to use the Samen NZ Short Gestation Belgian Blue sires to tighten their calving period and gain more valuable days in milk.
The calves have been consistently born early, giving them more days in milk and a tighter calving period. An initial concern is around the calving ease of these animals. The Short Gestation Belgian Blue has been phenomenal for calving ease, and he hasn’t had to pull a single one.
“We have used a variety of beef in the past to try to reduce Bobby numbers, but most recently, our Short Gestation Belgian Blue has outperformed previous crops of calves from other breeds.
We didn’t have to pull a single one in our last autumn calving. The Belgian Blue are vigorous and take to the feeders, unlike any other breed we have seen.”
Minimising Bobby calves will drive profitability and improve the dairy industry’s perception. In using value-added beef over his dairy herd, Glenn is also getting a better market to sell the calves, with beef farmers becoming interested in the Belgian Blues.
As we move into a more efficient future, traditional beef farming will shift from one cow and one calf to raising high-quality dairy beef animals. The next generation coming into the sector will need more output with fewer emissions. It will come down to KG of meat per hectare, and dairy beef is one direction we can head here in New Zealand.
Your local Samen NZ rep can help establish your goals for your herd and develop a breeding plan to create the future of efficiency for your dairy operation.