Golden Bay farmer Phil Smith has been dairy farming for 19 years and has always dreaded herd testing.
“I would wake up in the morning and genuinely think about calling our provider to cancel it,” says Phil.
That was until he switched to CRV Ambreed this season and discovered that the herd testing process can be completely painless.
“It didn’t even feel like a herd test,” says Phil. “The CRV technician and I were laughing in the shed. It was like having a mate working with me.”
Phil and his wife Savannah are in their first-year sharemilking.
“We are always keen to find ways to improve, so we asked the farm owner if they would mind us shifting to CRV Ambreed as our herd test provider. They agreed and it’s been the best thing we have done,” says Phil.
He says herd testing, which comes as part of their Progeny Test Programme with CRV, is important for them to keep on top of somatic cell count, help identify high and low producers in the herd, and determine their cows’ milk urea breeding values.
CRV also provides a technician as part of the service. Milk volumes are recorded on-farm at the time of herd testing and in some cases, same day production reports are available.
Phil says his CRV technician was at the shed before him at 4am with everything ready to go. He also made suggestions about how to make the process flow well in the shed, which made it completely stress free.
“It was so organized! The set up was fast and easy and everything was explained clearly. You could also see the results on the milk meters as they were coming through, which was great,” says Phil.
The icing on the cake was getting a text on his phone the following morning listing the cows with the highest somatic cell counts so he could deal with them immediately.
“When we started out sharemilking, it was important for us to partner with people who really care about our success. It feels like the CRV team genuinely wants us to be successful and do well in the industry,” says Phil.
Phil and Savannah use CRV’s myHERD to record their herd data. Phil says myHERD has been so easy to use in conjunction with FarmIQ.
“CRV has been beyond great,” says Phil. “During the transition from InSight to myHERD they kept me informed every step of the way. The service you get from the CRV team is amazing.”
As first-year sharemilkers, it is also the first year Phil and Savannah have paid for artificial insemination. Through CRV’s Progeny Test Programme, they will run a selection of Jersey sires across their herd.
“I really like the genetic side of the process, so it seemed like a good option for us. Dairy farming is a science. I have no doubt that we will get good calves from CRV’s sires. I can already see we’re onto a winning thing,” says Phil.