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CLIENT NEWS: Southland stock agent values healthy, efficient cows

Stock agent Matt Brinsdon loves his job. He’s with Rural Livestock in Southland and has been working as a stock agent, based in Gore, for 12 years.

“It’s a busy job year-round, and the work varies depending on the time of year,” says Brinsdon. It involves everything from photographing and marketing calves and cows, to showing and selling stock to clients and sorting contracts. The period leading into May and June is always particularly busy, as cows and heifers change hands and are delivered to new owners.”

Brinsdon enjoys talking with farmers around the eastern Southland area, and he’s observed changes in the dairy industry over the years.

“The dairy downturn in particular has propelled farmers to focus on becoming more efficient, and that means breeding efficient cows that work in low-cost, pasture-based systems,” says Brinsdon.

Brinsdon says increasingly, farmers are using genetics to improve their herds. “I see there is more awareness and drive towards improving your stock.

“In Southland there is more of a focus on crossbred cattle, and less focus on Friesian. Here we want healthy, efficient cows – ones with good udders and longevity.”

Those kinds of cows are the ones Southland farmers want, which cope well with local conditions and perform long-term.

“In many ways breeding healthy, efficient cows has become more important than BW,” says Brinsdon. “It’s important to breed for general types, traits and efficiency.”

CRV Ambreed’s Sales and Marketing Manager Mathew Macfie says Brinsdon’s insights are consistent with what many other dairy industry insiders are saying across the country. “Our field consultants are out there talking to farmers and stock agents and people working in the dairy industry, and they tell us that genetics are an increasingly important tool for farmers.

“With increased pressures and costs, farmers say they need to make smart decisions that will benefit their farm business in the long-term. That’s where CRV Ambreed’s world-leading cow genetics comes in – we meet with farmers to help them strategise, to plan their herd. With our advice and support, farmers can pick and choose the best sires to suit their herd and to meet their on-farm goals.”

CRV Ambreed’s catchphrase is ‘better cows, better life’.

“We know CRV Ambreed genetics can help farmers achieve their goals of breeding better, more efficient cows, which in the long-term means better business outcomes, and a better life,” says Macfie.

The herd improvement company recently announced it is now providing dairy farmers with a holistic approach to building their herds through a new style of index for sire selection. The forward-looking Better Life Health Index and Better Life Efficiency Index is a response to the changing needs in the New Zealand dairy industry.

The index rank bulls in such a way that farmers can easily and quickly choose sires that will produce the most healthy and efficient herds for them; a further step in supporting sustainable dairy farmer.