Managed by Rhys and Kiri Roberts since it was purchased in June 2013, Clareview is tucked away in the Westerfield district, 25km from Ashburton. This 296 effective hectare, system 4, farm is the largest farm in the ALIGN group, and milks 1100 cows through an 80 Bail Rotary, with automatic cup removers, and in shed meal feeding. The farm supplies Westland Milk Products.

In the 2014/15 season Clareview was completely reformatted to improve the farms efficiency and management ease.  The milking platform includes leased land adjoining the Ashburton River which has been redeveloped and integrated into the platform in consultation with its owner Environment Canterbury.

The 2018-19 budget is based on milk production of 494,320 kg MS and operating expenses of $3.91 per kg MS, (FWE of $3.68 per kg MS).  Imported supplements of about 650 kg DM per cow are fed during the season. The majority of cows are wintered off the farm for about 70 days. 

2018/19 Numbers at a glance

Total KgMS Cows Milked Hectares (effective)

Net Dairy Cash Income

Total Farm Working Expenses

Total Operating Expenses ($/kgMS) Dairy Operating Profit
494320 1100 296 $6.59 $3.68 $3.91


2018/19 Forecast Budget

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Income $TOTAL $/KgMS $/COW $/HA
Net Milk Sales

Milk revenue is based on a Westland Dairy Company milk price of $6.20 per kg MS combined for advance and deferred, on 494,320 kg MS. This is net of DairyNZ levy (3.6 c per kg MS). Milk revenue is net of DairyNZ levy of 3.6 c per kgMS, (50% share).This milk income is the farmers best estimate of their likely net milk sales. It may or may not be out of date based on new information from dairy companies. It does not necessarily reflect DairyNZ's milk price forecast.

3,064,784 6.20 2,786 10,354
Net Dairy Livestock Sales

Includes the net cost of 46 bulls, (30 for the herd and 16 Jersey bulls for about 250 R 2 heifers). At a 22% replacement rate, (and allowing for losses), livestock sales are based on about 235 MA cows and R 2 heifers and 830 bobby calves.

189,120 0.38 172 639
Other Dairy Cash Income

Sundry farm income.

5,160 0.01 5 17
Net Dairy Cash Income 3,259,064 6.59 2,963 11,010

Expenses $TOTAL $/KgMS $/COW $/HA

The farm employs 1 Full time Farm manager, and 4 full time farm staff. Help with calf rearing of $4,000 is included in calf rearing costs.

(incl. ACC)
340,500 0.69 310 1,150
Animal health

Philosophy for animal health is a proactive approach with a focus on attention to detail and doing the basics well. All heifers are teat sealed and all cows are treated with dry cow therapy (DCT) at drying off. Very high SCC cows are treated with an industry leading longest acting DCT and the rest of the herd get the cheapest long acting treatment available at the time. SCC for 2017-18 was 163,000. Bloat is not an issue, minerals are delivered through the troughs via "Dosatron" system at the shed. Cows are given Se 10 day's pre calving plus MgCl. Cost for minerals for the year is about $9,000. Includes the cost of having the herd condition scored 4 times a year @ $2.00 per cow. Cost of dehorning, vaccinations and drenches for calves prior to weaning are included.

46,424 0.09 42 157
Breeding and herd improvement

Includes 3 herd tests per year. Allow for 1.2 straws of semen per cow and AB is for 4-5 weeks. Kamar heat detectors are used for the first 3 weeks of AB and then tail paint. Submission rate has been over 90% fro the last 5 years. Attention is paid to pre mating heats. Based on pre-mating heats, a prostaglandin synchrony programme is used to bring cows cycling forward so essentially 3 weeks of mating happens in 10 days. Approximately 750 cows, (2/3 herd), are treated.

43,907 0.09 40 148
Farm dairy

Dairy shed is an 18 year old 80 bail Rotary with cup removers and in shed feeding. Dairy shed costs include $8,000 for teat spray and conditioner. Teat spray is used until November (when weather and soil conditions become dry) and then started again in March. Attention is paid to teat condition and if the situation changes then teat spraying will recommence. Teat cup liners are changed twice a year. Use a standard liner, (relatively low cost).

19,502 0.04 18 66

Power prices are negotiated. Being part of a larger group does help with this. Petition the Dairy Company to have tanker collections early in the day so milk is not being chilled during the heat of the day. Hot washes are used each milking. (Did try only once a day and got a grade so stick with what works). Have spent time establishing efficient milking routines to reduce the time taken for milking. Takes 1 1/2 hours per milking cups on to cups off once calving is completed.

(farm dairy, water supply)
36,540 0.07 33 123
Supplements made

No supplements are made on the milking area.

(incl. Contractors)
0 0.00 0 0
Supplements purchased

Feed purchased is 550 kg per cow of barley, (about 590 t), @ $380 per t landed. 80% of this will be fed before Christmas which equates to about 3 kg per cow per day. 100 kg DM per cow of silage is purchased, (about 110 t DM), @ $0.35 per kg DM landed, to be fed in late lactation and 15 kg DM per cow of straw is purchased, (about 16 t DM) @ $0.20 per kg DM, to be fed to the springers. The silage and straw comes from the company support block and are at market rates for feed.

263,026 0.53 239 889
Calf rearing

22% replacement rate is about 250 calves. Costs include shavings and calf tags and $4,000 for labour. The cost of the calf meal is included in supplements purchased but the cost of bagging the barley and adding molasses and treatment for coccidiosis is included. ($145 per t, for about 14 t). Calves are fed colostrum only. Mastitis milk and penicillin milk is discarded, (there actually very little of this).

18,113 0.04 16 61
Young and drystock grazing

Calves go to grazing at the support block in December. The cost per head of $8.50 per head per week is based on market rates and includes $0.50 per head for animal health costs. On May 1st the grazing rate changes to the R 2 rate of $12 per head, and the R 2's then move to the winter grazing rate.

198,910 0.40 181 672
Winter grazing

20-30 of the lightest cows stay on the milking platform all winter and are set stocked 1 per paddock. The balance of the herd plus the r 2 heifers are at winter grazing for 70 days from June , (R 2 heifers from May 1). The cost for grazing is based on 24 c per kg DM of crop eaten and 28 c per kg DM silage eaten. Cows are offered 12 kg DM crop and 2 kg DM silage per cow, (heifers are offered 10 kg DM of crop and 2 kg DM silage per cow). Includes $16,000 for freight to and from grazing. Cows are usually walked to winter grazing but with M.Bovis now an issue in Canterbury there is the added costs of trucking. ($0.03 per kg MS).

283,459 0.57 258 958

Fertiliser applied is based on recommendations as per soil test results. The current Olsen P levels range from 25-30. The aim is to get the whole farm to Olsen P of 30 some paddocks below 25 get higher rates of phosphate than maintenance while those near 30 just get maintenance. Nitrogen is applied in small amounts following the cows grazing rotation. Application rates are around 30 kg urea per ha although rates may be higher at times depending on pasture growth rates and soil conditions. Cost includes the application of Pro Gib to 70% of the farm by September 20th. The cost for 450 t lime is included.

(incl. N)
183,500 0.37 167 620

All irrigation is from ground water wells. One is a deep well and 2 are shallower. The average depth of the water take is 52 m. Irrigations is via 2 pivot irrigators. The cost includes getting a pivot warrant every year for the irrigators plus $26,500 for irrigation system repairs and maintenance.

112,552 0.23 102 380
Regrassing & cropping

10 ha of fodder beet are grown on the milking platform for use in late lactation. The cost is based on a fixed price per ha with a local agronomist and includes yield incentives/penalties. The target yield is 25 t DM by April 1st and the costs equates to about $0.09 per kg DM. Planting is 1st October. Costs also include the cost of re-grassing the 10 ha crop area plus another 20 ha of grass to grass. This is about 10% of the farm area. For the grass to grass area the paddocks are sprayed out twice then direct drilled with white clover, ryegrass and plantain. This has saved about $350-$450 per ha compared with conventional methods involving ploughing.

35,360 0.07 32 119
Weed and pest

Includes spray for along fence lines. Thistles are chipped, porina and grass grub areas are usually just rolled although the budget does include $1,000 for spray if needed.

2,735 0.01 2 9
Vehicles & fuel

Vehicles are serviced 4 times per year, policy is to replace motorbikes every three years and the tractor after 4500 hours. Preference is for 2 wheel motorbikes (for cost and safety reasons).

24,603 0.05 22 83

Policy is to keep up to date with maintenance (being proactive rather than being faced with large unplanned for repairs). Cost includes $20,000 for the cowshed (now 18 years old), $10,000 for pivot running, $10,000 for track maintenance and $5,000 for drainage. Tracks are scraped as needed, (at least twice a year, which helps to reduce lameness.

(land, buildings, plant, machinery)
63,800 0.13 58 216
Freight and general farm expenses

General freight and sundry costs.

2,342 0.00 2 8

Includes Clareview's share of the groups general manager salary. This covers a governance and reporting role as well as providing guidance for the Clareview farm manager. Also covers Clareview's share of group administration costs for office management, accountancy and payroll. Things like precision tracking for fertiliser application, protective clothing and entertainment, (staff functions etc), is also included here.

91,343 0.18 83 309

Higher excesses to reduce premiums.

22,630 0.05 21 76
8,000 0.02 7 27
22,092 0.04 20 75
Total Farm Working Expenses 1,819,338 3.68 1,654 6,146
Cash Operating Surplus 1,439,726 2.91 1,309 4,864

Non-cash adjustments have been included below the cash analysis to enable fairer comparisons to be made between farms. These adjustments are not part of a cash budget but are important to fully understand the efficiency of the farm business.

Value of change in Dairy livestock

Estimate to have 5 less R 1 heifers, 19 more R 2 heifers and 19 less cows at IRD 2018 NAMV.

-7,559 -0.02 -7 -26
Labour adjustment

All labour on the farm is paid as PAYE. All management costs are included under administration (which is also common practice for larger equity partnerships).

0 0.00 0 0
Feed inventory adjustment

Anticipate that the change in feed on hand will be negligible.

0 0.00 0 0

Based on previous years financial statements. This farm has older infrastructure so has the lowest depreciation costs of all four Align farms.

115,000 0.23 105 389
Dairy Gross Farm Revenue 3,251,505 6.57 2,956 10,985
Dairy Operating Expenses 1,934,338 3.91 1,758 6,535
Dairy Operating Profit 1,317,167 2.66 1,197 4,450

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