Vaughan Webber has been a Southland based dairy farmer for the past 20 years just outside of Edendale. Initially share milking a herd size of 600 cows before taking the step into the same farm's ownership with a 300-cow herd in 2021.
Vaughan comments, "with the changes in environmental red tape the previous owner and I were keen to make the move to a wintering barn to allow milking 11 months of the year. Previously running a grass-based production system, we wanted to add grain to the herd's diet as part of the production system migration. At the time we engaged a farm nutritionist to help us build the right solution with respect to wintering barn configuration, herd nutrition requirements and all supplementary equipment and machinery. Through this process our nutritionist put us on to the Keenan family of gear where we bought a MechFiber 400 mixer wagon and orbital muck spreader."
"Since making the move we have seen a marked improvement in cow health, nutrition and production. Via the Keenan mixer wagon we can ensure an even balanced diet in every mouthful and a consistent distribution of feed and trace minerals across the herd. Where necessary we can also use the MechFiber software programme to tailor the blend ratios at different times of the year to the needs of the herd."
With regards to the muck spreader, Vaughan says "our unit has proven very robust and performs well. These units have since become very popular in our region and we find it ideal for spreading separated effluent and composted straw from our wintering barn."
"The move to a wintering barn was a no brainer for us and the Keenan gear has played a key part in the overall success of this change and the ongoing farm development."