Flexible Milking, John Totty (Canterbury)


22 min read

Farm profile Before and after flexible milk Improving reproduction New approach attracts staff Time for the big picture Keeping cool John's flexible milking updates Update: 10 May 2021 Update: 23 November 2020 Update: 12 October 2020 Update: 1 September 2020 Podcast

John Totty switched to a 10-in-7 milking routine, reaping benefits for his cows and staff. This flexible method, which he learned about from DairyNZ's scientist Paul Edwards, suits his Jersey herd in the Canterbury foothills. It enhances profitability via improved health, reproductive results, and staff retention, with minor production decline. After its 2020/21 launch, he saw a 10% rise in the 6-week in-calf rate, shorter mating durations, and hired quality staff amid shortages. This also granted him more managerial time, though he had to upgrade his milk cooling system. The method boosted reproduction without hormones and ensured continuity even with staff shortages.

Farm Profile


994 Jersey and Jersy-Cross cows over two neighbouring properties


Staveley, Canterbury



Farm size

333 ha


380kg MS/cow

Imported feed

100kg DM/cow




5 full time equivalents (200 cows/FTE)


7-2, 7-2, 7-3

Milking regime

Full season 10-in-7

John decided to give flexible milking 'a crack' when he heard DairyNZ senior scientist Paul Edwards talking about it at a field day. This led him to contact Paul and he subsequently became one of the commercial farms contributing to the flexible milking research project.

Experimenting with different milking schedules during periods of summer dry led John Totty to adopt a flexible milking strategy, milking 10 times in seven days (10-in-7) full-season.

After trying OAD (once-a-day) and 3-in-2, John says 10-in-7 seems to work best for his Jersey/Jersey-cross herd and the farm’s dryland system.

It’s helping to increase profitability through improved animal health, better reproductive results, and staff retention. There are also cost savings related to less milking, all without the large drop in production that we experienced with OAD.

John Totty

Pilot farm flexible milking times

Before and after flexible

Farming milking schedule

2019/2020: 3 weeks OAD at calving then TAD.
TAD milking times: 5.30am and 2.30pm

2020/2021: 3 weeks OAD at calving then 10-in-7
10-in-7 milking times: Mon, Wed, Fri 5.30am and 2.30pm. Tues, Thur, Sat 10am, Sun 8am

2019/20 2019/20 District average* 2020/21 2020/21 District average*
Milking Schedule OAD at calving
then TAD
  OAD at calving
then 10-in-7
Peak cows milked 900 1137 994 1107
Stocking rate 2.9 3.7 3.2 3.7
kgMS/cow 377 489 378 479
kgMS/ha 1094 1801 1212 1795
10-day peak milk per cow (kgMS/cow/day) 1.57 2.19 1.51 2.15
Imported feed (kgDM/cow) 279 760 80 635
kgN applied/ha 190 217 180 204
6wk ICR 65% 67% 75% 67%
Not-in-calf rate 13% 17% 11% 16%
FWE ($/kgMS) $4.90 $4.38 $4.69 $4.37
Profit/ha $2271 $4044 $3641 $4865
Operating profit margin 26% 32% 36% 36%

*Ashburton district or Canterbury average, which are typically irrigated. John’s property is a dryland farm.

Improving reproduction

"One of my hopes with using flexible milking was to improve the herd’s mating performance through better energy status and management through the early lactation period."

In the first season of full-season 10-in-7 milking (2020/21), John was so confident about a positive outcome that he chose to drop all reproductive intervention, even though 15 percent of the herd had received CIDRs previously.

"Even if we held the same performance as last season (2019/20) it would still be a win if we could do it without using CIDRs," says John.

This approach paid off. Not only was performance maintained but the 6-week in-calf rate improved by 10%. Alongside this, John reduced mating length from 12 to 11 weeks without compromising his not-in-calf rate, which decreased by 2% from 13% to 11%, providing him with greater culling and selection opportunities.

"A drop of 2% was good, considering that if we’d stayed at 12 weeks, it would have been closer to a 4% gain," says John.

10-in-7 has benefited both animals and people evenly. With 10-in-7 it's always a thrill to drive out and inspect the cows. They never look skinny no matter the time of year.

John Totty

New approach attracts staff

With a few of his staff moving on, John took the opportunity to use flexible milking to attract the right people to the team.  Rather than ‘dairy speak’ and using language such as 'we milk full season 10-in-7' John spoke about the benefits of flexible milking. When advertising, he explained his system using terms such as '29% fewer milkings than traditional TAD and four sleep-ins per week.'  This tactic worked a treat. John was able to fill all positions with good quality staff, despite the chronic staff shortages the industry is experiencing.

Time for the big picture

With a reduced milking frequency, John has found that he now has time to step back and act as an operations manager and business owner, rather than being 100% hands on all the time.

"This shift has come from a mixture of having a good team and time to spend time building the team and farm manager’s skills, as well as developing processes for them to make their own informed decisions. That allowed me to remove myself from the day-to-day operations and decision making." John says. 

Keeping cool

Early in the season, it became obvious that John was going to face some milk cooling issues on one of the farms. In the winter of 2020, he upgraded his cooling system as he had previously had problems getting milk cool enough in the required timeframe over summer.

Even with a new cooling system, it became apparent in late spring 2020/21 that it wasn’t coping, and John was aware this would only worsen as temperatures rose over summer. To fix the problem he had to upgrade his brand-new unit to the next size up, despite having been advised to the contrary the previous winter. Once the larger cooling unit was in place, there were no further hiccups. 

Key successes

  • Repro/mating performance – 10% increase in 6-week in-calf rate without hormone intervention.

  • Maintained per cow production while increasing cow numbers. (2019-2020 milked 930 cows at peak and 2020-2021 milked 996 at peak.) However, fell short of 400kgMS/cow target due to acidosis from fodder beet in autumn.

  • Able to maintain milking and farm jobs with staff shortages without staff hours going through the roof.

  • More freedom for John to step back and act as ops manager and business owner, rather than being hands-on all the time – mixture of having a good team around him and having the ability to spend time building manager and team skills so that he wasn’t needed for the day-to-day decisions.

  • Attracting the right people into positions – using their terms and language – rather than saying milking 10 times in 7 days, sold it as 29% less milkings, four sleep-ins a week etc.


  • Milk cooling issues with new cooler unit – required upgrade to larger size to accommodate higher milk volumes over summer.

Cost implications

  • FWE’s 2019/20 $4.87 & 2020/21 $4.67.
  • Operating profit increased relative to the district average.
  • Vehicle expenses were less, as was electricity.
  • Other savings cannot be put down to 10-in-7 alone such as breeding which was halved due to doing AB on the top 60% of the herd only. John had the confidence to do this and still get enough replacements due to the good condition of the cows. The savings on CIDRS were a direct result.

John's flexible milking updates

As part of the DairyNZ Flexible Milking Project, we closely followed six farms using flexible milking strategies and provided 6-weekly updates for three of them throughout the 20/21 season. Others have an annual summary and commentary. Read about John’s experiences below.

Update: 10 May 2021 

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 28 Mar 11 Apr 25 Apr 8 May YTD
APC 2335 2379 2329 2242
Rotation Length (days) 45 45 45 45
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 0 0 0 2.5 103
N Applied Yes Yes No No 140
% Peak cows in milk 98% 98% 98% 98% 994
kgMS/cow 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.1 359
kgMS/ha 1003
SCC 108 113 180 176 112
Mastitis (# cases) 8 1 3 - 79
Lameness 6 3 13 - 58
Total hours worked /week* 188 188 189 165
Average hours milking/d 8.6 7.9 8.6 5.9 7.0

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 994 cows
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers
*Hours based on 4 full time staff, John's hours not included

John's comments

  • In early April we introduced fodder beet into the diet to help extend the round out and conserve pasture so that we can hit our average cover targets at dry off. We have also been feeding 4kg silage/cow/day to the cows at Lawnhayes for the last ~10 days, but none at Bushside.
  • Unfortunately, in late April we had two unrelated acidosis breakouts – one on each farm, during which we had to treat many animals due to severe acidosis. This is the first time we have had a large-scale acidosis event due to fodder beet during lactation.
  • You can see in the table a correlated increase in SCC and lameness and a decrease in production during this time.
  • As a result of this incident, we put the cows onto OAD to help take the pressure off them and allow them the appropriate time to recover.
  • After going OAD, the shed at Lawnhayes has consistently had flooding issues with the receiving can, which has resulted in an increase in milking time of approx. 1hr/milking to help manage the flow of milk to minimise this. Overall milking time has decreased due to less milkings.
  • When we went 10in7 full season, I had been hopeful that we wouldn’t need to change the liners mid-season, and we could make it work with only 1 change, as we had less milkings over the year. However, it is now evident that they should have been changed before now, so we have replaced them this week to try and mitigate the flooding issue, as well as looking at other machine settings that may impact the flooding.
  • You may also note an increase in hours worked over the last month. This has been attributed mainly to the longer milkings due to the flooding in the shed at each milking, as well as the introduction of fodder beet into the diet, and associated break feeding needing to be completed each day.
  • We are planning to dry the herd off around 27/28 May with a target of 2100kgDM/ha APC.
  • We were on track to hit, if not beat our target of 385kgMS/cow for the season prior to the acidosis breakout. We are now tentatively hopeful to reach this target but may fall short.
  • Our dry off strategy is to give all cows a teat sealant only, to reduce the ability for bacteria to enter the udder during winter. Even though not recommended by the vets, last year we did this for the first time and had good success, with minimal mastitis over the dry period. The mastitis that we did see was across both high and low SCC cows, so we are confident to use this process again this year.
  • We are also planning to simplify our wintering mobs this year, splitting the 3YO and lighter cows off into their own mob, with the remainder of the mixed age cows together. We may look to draft off 100 fatter cows also, due to the layout and paddock sizes of crops available. Heifers will also be kept separate and wintered on Kale.

Update: 15 March 2021

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 31 Jan 14 Feb 28 Feb 14 Mar YTD
APC 2435 2549 2353 2453
Rotation Length (days) 29 29 35 40
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 0 0 0 0 80
N Applied Yes Yes No Yes 140
% Peak cows in milk 100% 98% 98% 98% 994
kgMS/cow 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.3 293.9
kgMS/ha 820.6
SCC 103 100 100 108 107
Mastitis (# cases) 4 4 6 0 66
Lameness 4 2 5 0 34
Total hours worked /week* 131 148.5 171 182
Average hours milking/d 8 8.1 8.1 7.6 6.6

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 994 cows
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers
*Hours based on 4 full time staff, John's hours not included

John's Comments

  • The rainfall has been extremely kind this year, with almost weekly rains through the summer period, meaning that not only was there no need to feed out over summer – a rarity in itself, but there was also silage to harvest right the way through.

  • Because we haven’t had to feed out, we have had a lot more time on their hands which have allowed for

    • Weed control – they are on top of all ragwort and thistles
    • Fencing – 3 paddocks have been refenced into 2 to change their layout, with another block of the farm about to be refenced, again to make layout and day to day management more straightforward in the future. This refencing project is more around paddock structure, layout and access, rather than associated with changing paddock sizes for 3in2.
    • I have been able to spend some time off-farm as the staff have everything under control
  • Throughout this season, we have been able to progress farm management skills of the team, who are able to manage the day to day aspects of the farm (e.g. grazing rotations, feeding decisions etc.), allowing me to step away to do strategic planning and overseeing while knowing the farms are being well looked after.

  • The big focus going forward now is days in milk.

    • The cows are currently sitting around a 4.4 average BCS, and we will do a full herd BCS score closer to dry off to help with the dry off plan.
    • We have extended the round length out to 40 days on both farms, and have been able to do this with no supplement, as grass growth and quality has been favourable, and we chose to push the good quality feed in front of them rather than harvest the latest growth.
    • Our next step is to do an autumn rotation planner to identify where we want to be at the start of April, and when we will need to begin introducing fodder beet into the diet to maintain desired round length and APC.
  • The girls were re-checked on the 9th, with the final 6-week in-calf rate raising to 74% (was sitting at 72% before rechecks) with a 13% not-in-calf rate (this is a 9% increase in 6wk ICR on last year, while also dropping from 15% intervention to 0).

  • Lawnhayes has held production well, however Bushside has dropped more than anticipated. We are not entirely sure why – it could be due to pasture quality from previous management, as the Bushside block had a number of managers earlier in the season, and some paddocks weren’t taken to correct residuals. The new manager is working to improve this, which could have led to a slightly lower production on this block, but hopefully as the quality increases, we will continue to hold current production.

    • Per cow production is up in comparison to this time last year, which is great.
    • We are targeting for an 11% increase in production on last year, to match the 11% increase in cows. So far, we are on track for this, with no additional feed added into the system.
  • We have all of our staff sorted for next year.

  • Lameness has remained very low. Mastitis has increased in the Bushside shed compared with last season. We have not identified exactly why this is happening yet – it is not extremely high numbers, but still up on last year.

Update: 1 February 2021

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 3 Jan 17 Jan 31 Jan YTD
APC 2450 2550 2435
Rotation Length (days) 26 29 29
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 0 0 0 80
N Applied Yes Yes Yes
% Peak cows in milk 100% 100% 100% 994
kgMS/cow 1.5 1.5 1.4 236.3
kgMS/ha 659.8
SCC 106 88 103 108
Mastitis (# cases) 6 4 0 52
Lameness 0 0 1 24
Total hours worked /week* 167.9 180 131
Average hours milking/d 8.4 8.4 8.4

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 994 cows
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers
*Hours based on 4 full time staff, John's hours not included

John’s Comments

  • We had the vets out to scan last week, with a 72% 6wk in-calf rate, up from 65% last season which we are pretty stoked about.
    • We managed to achieve this while also dropping intervention from 15% last year to 0 this year.
    • Heifers also did well with a 95% conception to AI over 5 days after a double PG programme.
    • One large learning from this years’ mating plan has been around bull requirements when having all the older and low-BW cows at Bushside run with the bull for the full mating period, while producing all replacements from the cows at Lawnhayes and the heifers. Lameness becomes a much larger issue the longer the bulls are in with the herd and we didn’t bring enough bulls in at the start to provide adequate rest and replacement.
  • The season has been extremely kind to us as dryland farmers, with great rain so far over summer.
  • Growth had started to ease up pre-Christmas and we struggled to hold our 30 day round at Lawnhayes and therefore introduced silage into the diet (~3kg/cow/day for 610 cows over 2 weeks) to hold us through until the rain late December.
  • Now we are making another 33ha of silage, which will help us to reduce the need for brought in feed in early lactation next season, as we have already met our feed requirements for winter through our spring silage cuts.
  • Production: on a per cow basis, we are sitting roughly the same as last year at Lawnhayes, and slightly up at Bushside. Overall, we are up on production, with the increase in cow numbers. Due to the great season, we have been able to manage this with no increase in purchased feed to date, which is a great outcome!
  • We finally weaned the last of the calves off milk early January.
  • Our new staff member is settling in really well and has helped us get into a good rhythm and take the pressure off the rest of us.
  • Staff have been positive towards the change to 10-in-7 and really settled into the new routine for their days.
  • Although we haven’t necessarily seen a reduction in hours, we are finding that we are achieving so many more tasks than usual without working excessive hours, which is fantastic.
  • I also feel that it is allowing me to step back and be in the role of owner/operator – focusing on the bigger picture strategic decisions and farm business, rather than being continuously pulled into the operational and day to day tasks.
  • It has helped hugely staggering the two farms cycles, so that there is always someone available to do jobs out of the shed when others are milking, rather than me jumping in to help.

Update: 23 November 2020

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 25 Oct 8 Nov 22 Nov YTD
APC 2200 2280 2340
Rotation Length (days) 24 24 24
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 0 0 0
N Applied Yes Yes Yes
% Peak cows in milk 100% 100% 100% 994
kgMS/cow 1.7 1.7 1.7 128
kgMS/ha 358
SCC 101 95 121 112
Mastitis (# cases) 5 1 4 40
Lameness 1 2 8 17
Total hours worked /week* 142 147 143
Average hours milking/d 8.1 7.7 8.1

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 1050 cows
*Cows in milk is calculated as total calved at the end of the fortnight
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers
*Hours based on 3 full time staff, John's hours not included

John’s Comments

  • We have been pretty flat tack lately, as we have been short-staffed since the end of calving:
    • Very appreciative of 10-in-7 milking over this time.
    • Felt that we haven’t necessarily gotten the benefits of reduced hours worked over this time, but we have managed to make sure all jobs have been completed and haven’t had to skip over anything, which we wouldn’t have been able to do if we were short staffed and on twice-a-day milking.
    • Felt that I have been quite mentally busy, but this hasn’t translated to crazy hours.
  • Mating:
    • So far this has been going pretty well.
    • At Bushside (400 cows) we are running all cows straight to the bull.
    • At Lawnhayes (600 cows), we are AI-ing the cows, and we mate them once daily, 9am after 5.30am milking and 1pm after 10am milking.
    • We started on 1 Nov and have submitted 34% of cows in week 1 and 63% in week 2, with no intervention (previously we have done early CIDRs).
    • I have been enjoying picking cows at the 10am milking, and not needing to be up at 5am every day to pick cows.
  • We have experienced issues with our milk cooling. We recently upgraded the cooling unit on the farm, due to previous issues over summer, however, it is struggling with meeting the temperature guidelines, so we are looking at having to upgrade again to the larger unit to ensure that we can meet requirements, particularly knowing we are normally at risk over the hotter months.
  • Production has dropped back lately, coming off the peak harder and quicker than we thought it would. Talking with other nearby farmers, they are experiencing similar, so not sure whether this is environmental, 10-in-7, or something else:
    • Peaked lower than usual around 1.9 (usually around 2.1) and now sitting around 1.7, although this may also be due to having a higher stocking rate.
    • We have had a stronger focus on residuals this year, being more strict on hitting that 1500kgDM/ha, which may have affected peak, but should help to hold longer with better quality going into summer.
  • Lameness dropped off really well at the start – we have seen an increase again lately, however this is mainly footrot cases, with wetter weather recently. Other lameness cases (white line etc.) are still remaining lower than historical numbers.
  • We have managed to cut around 90ha of silage so far this season, which covers our needs for winter. Current forecasts should allow for another 40-50ha to be cut over the next few weeks, which will give us some surplus to use over summer/autumn.

Update: 12 October 2020

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 13 Sept 27 Sept 11 Oct YTD
APC 2314 2265 2300
Rotation Length (days) 58 43 35
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 0 0 0
N Applied
% Peak cows in milk 74% 81% 84% 1050
kgMS/cow 1.3 1.5 1.7 64
kgMS/ha 190
SCC 100 101 102 119
Mastitis (# cases) 9 8 4 30
Lameness 2
Average hours worked pp/d
Average hours milking/d 6.7 6.4 7.6

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 1050 cows
*Cows in milk is calculated as total calved at the end of the fortnight
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers
*Unable to access staff hours and N applications for this 6-week period, we will update this for next time

John’s Comments

  • Catching up with the AI tech next week. Plan is to go 9AM for TAD days, and 1pm for OAD days:
    • Bushside shed will have lower BW and later calving cows, and will get mated to a Jersey Bull
    • All replacements to come from Lawnhayes herd
    • No CIDR’s planned for this year as hoping to get some gains from the 10in7 milking
    • Plan to do a pre-mating pour-on drench for all cows this coming week.
    • PSM 1 Nov, with heifers AI’d from 24-29 Oct.
  • We have made a few tweaks to the structure of our days under 10-in-7, particularly the OAD day, which have helped to make things a bit smoother, the staff seem to be really enjoying it.
  • Sticking with traditional TAD times for Mon, Wed and Fri (5.30AM, 2.30PM), with 2 sleep-ins over the weekend seems to work well for everyone.
  • Started doing all team meetings on TAD days (3x per week) after AM milking before everyone heads off to do their jobs.
    • Good chance to check in with what everyone has planned for the day.
    • Check in how everything is going, what could change/improve etc.
    • Found it is a great chance for feedback with the whole team and making sure everyone is on the same page.
  • This year I managed to roster myself off 1 day per week for a month over calving, which I haven’t done in the past. It was great to have a chance to catch up on sleep and other jobs, although I tended to spend most of the time on office work, but this took the stress out of trying to do it around normal farm jobs, or in the evenings.
  • We have had some issues with milk cooling this season on one farm, which we think is due to the larger milk volumes for the AM & MID milkings. We did put in a new glycol system last year to address issues cooling over Feb/March during the heat, but it may need to be upgraded as it is already failing to keep up.
  • We have quite a bit of grass now and have shut up some paddocks for silage late last week.
  • Currently on a 36-day round, and want to get this down to 20 – a combination of shutting up paddocks and speeding up the round.
  • First round finished a bit later than I would have liked (26 Sep).
  • We have kept more cows at the Lawnhayes farm, so we can keep the pasture surplus on Bushside block only. They are currently milking ~300 and we will increase this to 400 before mating starts.
  • Last 70 cows to calve will go there over the next few weeks.
  • Production is up on both farms.
    • It has been a good year this year with increased pasture covers at calving from good winter growth and good growth through spring.
    • We also synchronised a large number of cows early during mating last year, which has pulled forward our calving pattern significantly this year.
    • They still seem to be maintaining their lead, which is great.

Update: 1 September 2020

Lawnhayes Farm

Fortnight ending 2 Aug 16 Aug 30 Aug YTD
APC 2400 2400
Rotation Length (days) 240 140 66
Supplement fed (kgDM/cow/d) 2.1 2.15 3.3
N Applied Yes
% Peak cows in milk 14% 43% 62%
kgMS/cow 1.1 1.3 16
kgMS/ha 47
SCC 192 133 134
Mastitis (# cases) 2 3 5
Lameness 1 0 1
Average hours worked pp/d 5.5 7.5 7.5
Average hours milking/d 2 3.75 4

*Figures averaged over fortnight where possible
*Per cow supplement is total supplement fed averaged over 1050 cows
*Cows in milk is calculated as total calved at the end of the fortnight
*YTD kgMS/cow is calculated over peak cow numbers

A typical day over calving

Over calving, John normally runs a minimum work policy – so long as the staff have milked and fed the cows, and collected and fed calves, then they can head home, rather than filling in time with extra jobs. This season, due to an extension of both yards and changes in tracks around the yard to accommodate the increase in cow numbers, the staff have been doing additional work to finish the fencing and yard work between milkings.

A typical day at the beginning of calving while milking OAD looks like:

  • 6AM John out to check springers, tag new calves & record mothers
  • 7AM the team will come to help draft out freshly calved cows and collect calves
    • 1 team member will head out and check the later calving cows at the same time
  • Freshly calved cows, colostrums and milkers are all brought into the shed
    • While this is happening, 1 person is out resetting fences where needed
  • 8AM shed is started up, cows milked, then colostrums, then freshly calved cows
  • 9AM John will do another springer check for cows starting to calve
  • Once all cows milked and back in their paddocks, the team head home for lunch
  • After lunch, the team comes back to feed out
  • Second calf collection around 4.30 and all new calves tubed with colostrum
  • There is a dedicated calf rearer on farm who helps to rear 300 replacements plus 250-300 jersey bulls
  • 9PM – John does night check for first 2-3 weeks

Over time, as more cows are calved, milking time is pulled earlier and generally reaches a point where they switch to TAD so that new mums can be brought to the shed in the afternoon during daylight instead. This year, it was at this point that they have switched to a 10in7 milking interval instead.

John’s Comments

  • We have had a very kind winter so far, with dry weather which has helped make calving go smoothly.
  • Season to date we are up around 27% on production compared with last year. However, this may be largely explained by an increase from 900 cows to 1050 cows over the two farms.
  • To help with staff management, John has chosen to offset the 10in7 days so that one shed starts it's 10in7 cycle on Monday, with the other shed starting on Tuesday, allowing milking times to alternate to free people up at different times to complete jobs out of the shed. The value of this approach will be assessed over the next six weeks.
  • YTD Cow health incidences have been quite low compared with previous seasons
    • 5 mastitis cases this year, compared with 18 last season
    • 1 lame cow compared with 5 last season
    • 11 down cows from 605 calved
    • 2 cows treated for RFMs
  • Supplement currently being fed is PKE blended with a mineral mix at a similar rate as previous seasons.
    • Dries & springers on farm 5kg/cow/day
    • colostrums 4kg/cow/day
    • milkers 2kg/cow/day
  • 42kgN/ha was applied to 91ha on 24 Aug as Ammo 36.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Lawnhayes 5.30AM


10AM 5.30AM
10AM 8AM
Bushside 8AM 5.30AM
10AM 5.30AM
10AM 5.30AM


Could reducing the number of milkings in a week help the dairy sector attract new staff and improve work-life balance? One farmer who’s gone to a flexible milking schedule is John Totty in Canterbury, currently starting his second full season milking 10 times in 7 days. What were his reasons for changing his milking schedule, and what kind of outcomes is he seeing?

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Last updated: Aug 2023
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