Farming in Focus Winter 2020

“We use a lot of direct drilling now. Strip tilling with our corn and direct drilling with our cereals. Lucerne is one crop that we do prepare a really fine seed bed for.”

FODDER IN FOCUS Silvermere Holsteins, Cowra NSW

Upon entering Callara, the property owned and managed by Colin and Erina Thompson of Silvermere Holsteins, it quickly becomes apparent just how well this business is run. After what has been a long few years of drought, the paddocks are green with crops, the bunkers full with silage and the cows are healthy and happy. Located between Cowra and Gooloogong in Central West NSW, the Autumn break has been reassuring with rainfall above average. Given the challenges very familiar to all dairy farmers, the weather, milk prices, irrigation water availability and feed prices, this year’s seasonal break has been very much appreciated by the Colin and Erina. “320 cows are milked, three times a day, every day of the year at Silvermere. The cows are housed in a free stall barn. “We breed all our heifers and raise all our bull calves, we have cows calving every day of the year,” said Colin. The Thompsons produce about 5 million litres of milk each year which is sold to Lion Dairy and Drinks. It is then used for the Dairy Farmers brand and for a lot of the flavoured milks like Dare Iced Coffee. Silvermere Holsteins is a very professional and meticulously run business. They place a lot of focus on animal health and balancing that with efficient and productive systems. They have developed ways to help mitigate against risk to help get through the challenges that are outside of their control. Their careful planning and management of fodder production is reflective of this.

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