Farmer: Greg and Hannah Topless
Location: Strathmore, Taranaki, NZ
Dairy Type: Herringbone
Farm size: 150 ha, 220 cows
LIC Automation Technologies: Saber™ Draft
Our primary reason for getting Saber Draft was to keep a tally of the cows that we milk each morning and knowing whether we’d milked them all. Because of the way the farm is it was easy to leave a cow behind in the paddock, which is awful.
Greg: Ten days before Saber was up and running we lost a cow because she’d gotten cast and if we’d known about it we’d have gone back to the paddock and got her out but we didn’t know about it and she died. Now we know straight away that there’s a cow missing. So for us it’s an issue of our animal’s welfare.
Before Saber, I’d have to be at the front gate, opening and closing and Hannah had to be round the back of the cowshed, putting the drafted cow in the back of the yard. It added another minute or two onto every row. Now you just open the gate, they wander out and you can carry on doing things on the other side.
Hannah: You look at the cost of it and for some farmers they’re quite happy to spend that money on a brand new ute. But to me you’re not getting anything out of a flash brand new ute. We’d rather get something that will have more long-term benefits to the farm and business.
Hannah: Another benefit was when we were herd testing a few months back. Greg’s very good. He’ll know the cow and writes the numbers on the little pots. But the lady that was helping us said, you’ve got two number 82s.
So we just went to the touch screen and looked back at the cow numbers from the last row that had just gone and figured out which cow had been missed. We didn’t even think of that as a benefit but it made everything easy.
– Greg and Hannah Topless, NZ
Farmer: Stuart and Emma Fitzgerald
Location: Te Awamutu, Waikato, NZ
Dairy Type: 24 bail herringbone
Herd Size: 200 cows
LIC Automation Technologies: Saber™ SCC
Stuart and Emma wanted at bail information on SCC levels. They installed 12 Saber SCC sensors – one on every second bail. This means on average each cow is measured once a day. As they don’t have a herd identification system in their shed they added interface units attached to each Saber SCC sensor. The interface shows the SCC reading through an easy-to-read traffic light system.
Farmer: Alastair Robinson
Location: Rangiora, Canterbury, NZ
Dairy Type: 70 bail rotary
LIC Automation Technologies: Saber™ Milk and Saber SCC
Saber SCC saves stripping the whole herd for Mastitis. We get a real live cell count on every fourth bail every milking. Saber Milk is certainly very useful as we milk all year round and have a spread out calving. It’s quite a valuable tool for drying off low producing cows. Shed automation is the way forward. Once you get into the larger numbers it’s just so much easier with technology.
Alastair Robinson, NZ