Farmers: Nick Templer & Anieka Venekamp
Position: Contract Milkers
Effective Milking Platform Area: 230ha
Support Area: 102ha
Peak Cow Numbers 2012/13: 645
Peak Cow Numbers 2013/14: 670
Farm System (1-5): 4
Supplement Types: wheat, molasses, PKE, silage, summer turnips
Production History 2012/13: 306,604 kgMS, 475 kgMS/cow, 1333 kgMS/ha
Production History 2013/14 (target): 335,000 kgMS, 500 kgMS/cow, 1457 kgMS/ha
Nick and Anieka are the monitor farmers for Northern Southland. Located halfway between Balfour and Lumsden, they are into their 2nd season of contract milking on their current farm.
Anieka is in charge of the weekly farm walks, and once completed a feed wedge is printed off and put up in the dairy shed with a grazing plan for the next week. The information gathered is then used to make decisions early when it comes to identifying surplus or deficits - “When it comes to pasture, everything can change in a week”.
The key factors that make Nick and Anieka’s system work are cow condition - as it determines production and reproductive performance, and the ability to grow as much grass and produce as much milk as possible before Christmas. The reason for this is because in Northern Southland it tends to dry out in late December onwards.
When they can get off the farm, Nick and Anieka like to be with family and friends and like to go “preferably somewhere with no cellphone reception”. Nick lists his hobbies as pig hunting and jet boating, and Anieka is a keen photographer.