Stud wins international recognition

Stud wins international recognition
PHOTOS: Sunshine Ayrshire’s Sunshine Burdette Dale (above left) and Sunshine Reality Debbie. Sunshine Burdette Dale was placed third in the World Federation Ayrshire photo competition in the two-year-old heifer section.

Sunshine Ayrshires has reached an important milestone placing third in the World Federation Ayrshire photo competition in the two year old heifer section with Sunshine Burdette Dale.
Stud owners Bob and Nikki Lawson admit it is quite an achievement after previously having wins in the two and three year old class in the New Zealand Ayrshire Alltech photo competition.
“She’s exceptional and miles ahead of anything we’ve got for her age. She’s going to go on to be one heck of a cow,” says Bob.
Bob says her rear and fore udders and body mean she is a well proportioned heifer.
He hopes the win will generate more interest in ayrshires and what they are doing with regards to breeding in the stud.
It has certainly taken Sunshine Ayrshires to the next level and is the result of the hard work of generations of his family.
The stud’s genetic line hails back to the Green-bank Ayrshire Stud founded by Bob’ s grandfather JB Moore in Masterton in 1912.
Bob has been involved with the Ayrshire breed for nearly 60 years.
He starting in calf club as a child and began judging for Ayrshire New Zealand when he was just 15.
The stud’s first big win was in 1991 at the Palmerston North Royal A&P Show when Greenbank Highland Fame won the title of supreme champion Ayrshire cow.
Bob, who is current president of the Manarapa Ayrshire club, says he and Nikki have tried all the three main breeds over the years but ayrshires remain the favourite.
“They are the easiest cow to break in to milk. They have a placid nature. We just need to improve litres and production on this farm going forward.”
This is largely as they have been building cow numbers after moving from contract milking to taking on the lease of the farm at Woodville where they are currently based.
They milk 185 cows and have 39 two year old heifers in the herd currently.
Bob says they will soon be able to cull to improve the herd further.
They are just changing to split calving as they feel this will result in more even cash flow in their business throughout the year.
They plan to milk later calves and any empty cows through plus the freshly calved cows from calving at the end of May and June, which will milk through until they are due to be dried off the following season.
He is not sure whether to put increasing dry conditions over summer down to global warming but it’s not something he can discount so he’s aiming to prepare.
They are looking at moving from turnips to a crop, such as Japanese millet, that would give several cuts during the dryer months.
Around 90% of the herd is in Sunshine Ayrshires.
In terms of breeding they are moving towards English, Canadian and North American genetics, which is crossed back with the odd New Zealand bull with good genetics and some good homebred bulls.
Not many calves are sold from the stud but in 2018 one, that was five generations removed from Greenbank Highland Fame, went on to win at the Waikato A & P Show that year.
As Sunshine Burdette Dale has a full sister calving this year Bob and Nikki are eagerly awaiting the birth.

Stud wins international recognition
Sunshine Ayrshires’ Bob and Nikki Lawson milk 185 cows at Woodville.

“I’ve got a gut feeling she could be even better than Sunshine Burdette Dale,” he says.
They are also planning to mate the mother of Sunshine Burdette Dale back to the same bull this season, which they hope could result in another award winning calf.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts