In 2012, Methven mixed cropping farmers Bruce & Susan Turpie, joined the many Canterbury farmers who have made the transition to dairy farming. After mixed cropping most of his life, Bruce could see that milking cows on his property was the next logical step.
Bruce liked the idea of a barn to house the cows over the winter months, which enabled him to secure a winter milk contract which he said justifies running this type of higher input dairy operation.
“We milk 1200 cows here, with 500 of them being milked through the winter. We autumn calve 400, with about 100 carryovers. This is something we have done right from the start and its worked very well for us.” Bruce commented.
“Running a barn system requires having a good control of your input costs. We are currently feeding a mix of beet, palm kernel, lucerne balage and maize silage. Last August, we took delivery of a BvL 34 Mixer from Webbline Agriculture, it has been one of the best moves I’ve made,” he said. “We did the first three years with a 27 cubic metre Jaylor which wasn’t really big enough for what we were trying to do. When Webbline approached me with a new model triple auger mixer, I could see this was our machine!”
Bruce’s feeding operator Sharon Inch says that, “we are currently doing three loads a day and can get up to 16 tonne mix into the machine at a time. I have found the BvL is very easy to drive, we are running it on the old 180HP International 8910 which has been in the family since new and is close to clocking 10 000 hours. In fact, due to the unique auger set up, this mixer is as easy to drive as our previous smaller mixer. I also have found the steering axle configuration makes it very easy to tow and it follows the tractor around corners very well,” Sharon commented.