Dairy

Expert shares calf care tips

By Rodney Woods

Dairy services company Daviesway hosted a roadshow at Kyabram on March 6, which gave the 20 or so farmers in attendance a chance to update their knowledge on calf rearing and nutrition.

Speaking to the group was American consultant Dave Kuehnel, who has 38 years’ experience in the dairy industry.

‘‘My goal in coming here, and being invited by the Daviesway organisation, is to share my experience and learnings over the years as well as learn the way Australian dairymen handle things,’’ Mr Kuehnel said.

‘‘We’re looking at the things we can do to impact the life of the animal.

‘‘We now know that there’s a lot you can do in the first two months, the first six months, that absolutely just translates through to the way they perform at not only two years old but even into the second and third lactations.

‘‘Lifetime productivity is impacted by the start that they get as a calf.’’

Mr Kuehnel said investing in your calves early was crucial.

‘‘What we put into them young absolutely predicts and dictates the way they’re going to perform as an older animal and that’s the main point we are trying to get across,’’ he said.

Mr Kuehnel said efficiency was paramount, especially when finances get tight.

‘‘The tighter things get from an economic standpoint the more everyone’s looking for small things they can do to change, just small incremental changes that add up to significant benefit.’’

Daviesway Dasco calf rearing manager Brendan Johnson explained why his company was running this event.

‘‘The farming game is always evolving so you’ve got to continue to keep up to date with the latest information, the latest theories and the latest research and Dave is certainly going to present some of those bits and pieces from around the world today,’’ he said.

‘‘This is an opportunity to bring some of this new and relevant information to farmers in the Goulburn Valley.’’

The roadshow also visited Warrnambool and Warragul.