Saturday, 18 April 2015 09:13

Small herd bloggers aiming big

Written by 
SMASH blog on Wordpress. SMASH blog on Wordpress.

Just before Christmas, Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) initiated a novel way for farmers to share their experiences and knowledge – blogging.

Farmers gain much from going to events and talking with other farmers, or chewing the fat over the fence with the neighbour, but sometimes they don’t have time to get off the farm. Reading the blogs and sharing comments on-line opens up a new way of connecting with other farmers.

For the four new farmer bloggers, Noldy Rust, John van der Goes, Brian Frost and Trent Guy, the process has put them on a steep learning curve. As Rust says, “It can be hard work sitting down each month and creating a new blog entry, but it’s rewarding when you see the finished product on-line, and realise there are a lot of people getting benefit from reading it”.

To date the blogs have covered topics as diverse as growing tall fescue, the trials of combating mastitis, dealing with effluent council compliance and getting cows in calf. But it is not all about the technicalities of running a farm; it also gives people the chance to share the ups and downs of farming life, from coping with the weather to fitting in a well-deserved break over Christmas.

There is the chance to learn from other people’s successes, and failures, and the bloggers have an honest and open approach to sharing both, as can be seen in the following snippet from Trent Guy’s latest blog entry:

“Unfortunately after my little Christmas getaway I came back to a rapidly rising SCC and after stripping the herd and pulling eight clinical mastitis cows out we still saw little change in the bulk SCC.

“So we needed a plan. We talked to our local vets and we decided do a machine check, bring our next herd test forward and then look at the high SCC cows. The plan was implemented and LIC was called to see if it could be done ASAP. Fortunately they could do one in three days, which luckily for me happened to be when my father was coming to visit… yeah, free labour! A machine check was done, revealing that the shed was running perfectly.

“So the three days rocked around quickly and we got the herd test out of the way. Then the waiting game.

“So we got the results and they weren’t too flash: there were 30 cows in the millionaires club – not a club we want to have cows in. We then decided to pull the top 60 cows out on SCC and run them as a separate herd, thus hopefully reducing any spread to otherwise healthy cows and to monitor the 60 cows and take further action as needed.”

The SMASH team hopes the blog readership will continue to rise, and more bloggers will sign up.

Find the SMASH blog at https://smallerherds.wordpress.com/

• Louise Hanlon is a SMASH committee member.

More like this

Smaller farm fits the bill

A midlife crisis and the desire for a new challenge were the catalysts for Nathan and Rosie Hughes’ switch to smaller herd dairy farming three years ago.

Rules driving farmers out

New farming rules around sustainability are driving elderly farmers out of the dairy industry, says agri-economist Phil Journeaux.

Featured

 

Stop making decisions for farmers

OPINION: From my observations of general media reporting it seems that in today’s world no one wants to take responsibility for their actions.

National

Effluent expo canned

The Effluent & Environment Expo, scheduled for early November in Hamilton, has been cancelled.

Fonterra back in the black

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the co-op, with profit up, debt down and…

Machinery & Products

Clear cut fodder

CLAAS Harvest Centre product manager, Luke Wheeler, says the end goal should always be the starting point when making purchasing…

Good mower an essential tool

Third-generation dairy farmers Hayden and Tania Edmeades run 500 dairy cows and associated young stock over 190ha near Putararu in…

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Eyes have it

OPINION: Painting eyes on the backsides of cows could save their lives, according to new research by Australian scientists.

Walkers versus cows

OPINION: A North Yorkshire teacher has become at least the second member of the public to be trampled to death…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter