Farmers: Joel and Linnet Burns
Position: Equity Partners - Farm Managers
Effective Milking Platform Area: 232ha
Support Area: 72ha
Peak Cow Numbers 2012/13: 750
Peak Cow Numbers 2013/14: 740
Farm System (1-5): 2
Supplement Types: grass silage, Proliq (first year of use)
Production History 2012/13: 301,673 kgMS, 402 kgMS/cow, 1300 kgMS/ha
Production History 2013/14 (target): 310,000 kgMS, 419 kgMS/cow, 1336 kgMS/ha
Joel and Linnet Burns are our monitor farmers for the Eastern Southland area. They are in their 5th season on their current farm at Woodlands, which they manage for their equity partnership. Their operation requires 3 fulltime staff (including Joel), two casual staff, and Linnet is in charge of the calf rearing, HR, financials and their three children.
The support block is located 16km towards the coast from the farm, and it is used for the grazing of youngstock, and wintering of the cows on crop.
When asked what are the key factors to making their system work, they both agreed that people is number one ? Joel and Linnet place a lot of emphasis on the value of people within their farm system, followed closely by pasture monitoring and management, and cow health and condition.
Joel and the 2IC monitor the pastures weekly with a C-Dax rapid meter. The information is used to determine whether they are in a surplus or deficit, the timing of nitrogen application, and to create a grazing plan for the next week. The annual pasture growth information allows the identification of poor performing paddocks ? indicating the need for regrassing.
When he is able to get off farm, Joel’s hobbies include hunting and fishing, Linnet enjoys being involved with the Dairy Women’s Network, and together they like to spend family time away.