Dairy companies take part in the industry’s first conference | North Queensland Register

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Calmo Farms features a 250 meter long by 36 meter wide Entegra shed with an 18 degree roof pitch, modernized with an American free-stall barn design. Image: Provided

Story in partnership with Entegra.

Two Victorian northern dairymen with Entegra Dairy Shelters will welcome visitors from industry for a two-day specialist conference on intensive food and housing.

Jade and Belinda Clymo and Don and Meg Stewart will open the door to their farms to showcase the structures they have built to provide shade and shelter for their dairy herds and reduce their business exposure to climate risk.

Tours of these agricultural businesses, in central Victoria, are included in the ‘Raising the Roof’ conference and will provide hands-on insight into these farming systems and support presentations from industry experts.

Entegra design consultant Charles McCalman said the Clymo and Stewart families led the Victorian dairy industry to adopt shade and shelter and intensive feeding systems.

“Jade and Belinda and Don and Meg, they understood that their dairy businesses needed to evolve in order to better manage risk and increase cow comfort and production,” he said.

“Their ideas about barn cows and intensive feeding systems will be invaluable to anyone considering changing their farming system.”

For Jade and Belinda, milk production at their “Calmo Farms” Operations at Calivil have increased since they moved their 1,800 cow herd to a free-stall system in their Entegra Ridgeback shed.

Milk production per cow increased from 1.8 kg milk solids per day to 2.4 kgDM/day/cow.

Jade attributed this increase to the shelter and how it enabled them to provide a better and more consistent ration to their herd every day.

“With this protected cow system, they are fully fed, and we notice that they are happy and content, and that happened very quickly,” he said.

“The cows came into the shelter and three weeks later we were walking through them, and they were looking at us, they were so happy. Well fed, they never lack anything and that’s very good for us.”

Don and Meg Stewart built an Entegra shed as a maternity barn and dry earth shelters on their 800 a2 milk cow dairy farm in nearby Yarrawalla.

They use the maternity barn as a shelter for cows and heifers on the verge of calving and sick animals.

The farrowing house has been fitted out with yards, a crush and other tools to facilitate the handling of cows and calves, while the compost floor provides a comfortable and clean environment.

“For me, if someone puts down all year round, maternity is just a no-brainer,” Don said.

This Entegra maternity unit and its dry land are home to 800 cows.

“We had a few a1 cows left on our home farm – not on the a2 farm – and when we had to go down to the paddock to bring in a cow after calving, we thought ‘it takes so long per relation to the Grange Maternity’.”

“Having this facility right next to the dairy makes it easier for everyone on the farm to do their job. Of course, any dairy farmer can set up the same without a shed, but here when we were calving in the January and February heat, under the shed the cows are still comfortable.”

Raising the Roof will take place in Echuca on May 10 and 11.

For more information on Entegra sheds and how they can improve animal productivity, visit www.entegra.com.au or call 1300 296206.

Story in partnership with Entegra.

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