Shona and Tony Pedersen - Raglan
Shona and Tony used to be grass fed only, “But you can’t grow enough,” says Tony. “We also used to use palm kernel, but that causes a mess in the paddock and feed problems.” In Tony’s view the best way of getting the right additives into the cows is with meal. He and Shona have fed TopCow custom dairy blends for four years now.
They were getting 250-270kg MS per cow and are now around 330-350kg from their 290 friesian/friesian cross cows. Previously their empty rate was 12-15% and is now it’s 10%, cows get back up quicker after calving and aren’t losing as much condition. They now get the odd cow with milk fever, but recover quickly.
Tony says that he hasn’t used anybody other than Ingham’s Dairy Nutrition Specialists, but he’s most impressed with the service and back up. “The Ingham guys aren’t high pressure salespeople - they tell me what we can expect from their products and have the right back up who can advise us what our cows need for the time of year and conditions. We use Graham and he’s very enthusiastic about the product.”
“Graham turns up with his computer, plugs the information in and tells us what we can expect if we want to fine tune things.”
When asked if he is financially better off in using TopCow Tony is convinced. “In the last couple of years of drought we’ve been able to regulate the product use to complement the grass cover. [Without that] we’d be financially worse off and doing a lot of controlled starvation. This winter the grass growth’s been poor and the cows would be getting 50-70% of what they need. And we can cut back if it’s not needed throughout the season.”