Family eyes improved effluent system

amily eyes improved effluent system

An improved effluent system could help the Singh family to enhance its custodianship of the land as well as make better use of the nutrients for the benefit of their farming operation.
The family has farmed in the Waikato since the 1930s and today has a 238ha total, 170ha effective farm at the foothills of Mt Pirongia owned in an equity partnership by Selwyn, his brother Paul and Selwyn’s son Sanjay.
At present their farm has a pond with pontoon system and they spread over around 30-35ha of the farm with a low-pressure pod system.
They would like to increase this to 70-80ha by extending the effluent pipeline and possibly employing a new system of delivery.
As their 40 aside herringbone cow shed is elevated they could take advantage of gravity with whatever system they eventually select, says Paul.
“The farm is 350-400 metres above sea level and the cow shed sits about midway on that elevation scale. We want to maximise nutrients for environmental reasons but it should also allow us to reduce our fertiliser use,” he explains.
Mainly operating on a pasture based system, the Singhs buy in around 450 tonnes of supplement each year. This spring was very wet which has put pressure on the cows so the Singhs are focusing on ensuring cow condition is good right up until calving.
They aim to get the cows off the pasture to avoid damage during wet weather while making sure they are fully fed via supplement. They have a fed pad, which can hold up to about half the herd.
They winter 400 cows on the farm split into two herd alternating them on pasture and the feed pad.
They also send some cows to their run off where they are trialling growing 10ha of suede. The Singhs also have a successful stud operation called Mouth Cosy Jerseys, which includes around 250 pedigree animals.
This is Selwyn’s passion and they currently have three contract bulls with CRV Ambreed including Mount Cosy D Promo ET, who has proved particularly successful.
He has a BW of 183, protein of 9/37 and fat of 24/37. The stud has been selling bulls into the dairy industry at the national bull sales for over 40 years. “We’re producing good stock that are essentially grass fed, are good walkers, strong and have good production,” says Selwyn proudly.
“Our aim is always to produce a good solid jersey with good legs and udders.”
The farm is a real family run affair with Sanjay taking on the role of operations manager while Selwyn looks after the young stock on a 95ha run off down the road and relief milks.
Paul, a chartered accountant by trade, also helps out on the farm as well as taking care of the financial side of the business.
The family business also includes a sharemilking contract on a farm at Maihiihi where Sanjay’s brother Gurjeet is employed as manager milking 250 cows.
The family’s aim is for Gurjeet and Sanjay to one day own their own farms and they see this as a stepping stone for Gurjeet.
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