Waterways wintering tip a winner for Riversdale farmer

Riversdale dairy farmers, Peter and Susan Dale, have won DairyNZ’s Southern Field Days competition which asked farmers to share their top tip for wintering.

Their winning tip to be mindful of waterways when selecting crop paddocks, has won them two tickets to the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE).

Peter says their crop paddocks are selected strategically to minimise environmental damage over winter.

“We avoid any paddocks with drains, culverts or waterways,” says Peter.

“We also select paddocks with a reasonable amount of shelter for the cows and we make it a priority not to overstock paddocks. A low stocking rate reduces the competition for feed so there is less stress on stock.”

The Dale’s also set up for winter over the dryer summer period, placing baleage on the paddocks. “Having the baleage already in the paddocks means we don’t have to use the tractor on wet paddocks or on the road over winter. It means there’s less damage to paddocks and no mud on the road, so it’s win-win,” says Peter.

The Dales visited the DairyNZ stand at the Southern Field Days to get some information around staff management, including contracts and time sheets. “We got some really helpful information and resources from Richard Kyte,” (DairyNZ Regional Leader for Otago and Southland) says Peter.

Farmer representatives from the Dairy Environment Leaders’ Forum, such as Dylan Ditchfield, were also on the DairyNZ stand. “It was a good opportunity to talk to Dylan about the new effluent system we have recently put in,” Peter says.

The Dales say the Southern Field Days is an excellent event. “We find it really worthwhile attending. It’s very informative and it’s a good chance to catch up with everyone in one place.”