These are the dairy farming workshops that connect people, cows, feeds, dairy farms, facilities, performance and profit. They have been carefully designed to fill the gaps in dairy industry knowledge. Underpinned by a sound knowledge of dairy cow nutrition, this course of dairy farming workshops teaches practical cow, feed and farm management to farm operators and other dairy industry professionals.
Dairy farming workshops: a practical approach to technical information
The tutorials begin with the more academic cow nutrition and rumen function lessons, progress to practical animal management and performance, and then include a farm visit after lunch. Afternoon sessions relate to both the host farm and seasonally relevant aspects of local dairy farming.
We place a strong emphasis on the dairy cow: how she works, what she wants, and what she can tell you about your farming operation. These dairy farming workshops will give you the skills to make better, more profitable decisions on your farm.
Learn about dairy cattle from the experts at DPSL workshops
Primary tutors, Bryan McKay and Sue Macky, use their decades of experience and knowledge to add real-world applications to all the information they impart. Both are very accomplished presenters, aided by modern technology and the frequent use of photographic examples.
Course numbers are limited to maximise interaction between tutors and participants, usually a mix of dairy farm owners, managers, veterinarians, consultants and also dairy industry technical representatives. All attendees at our dairy farm workshops receive bound course notes in full colour, and relevant Word documents or references.
Topics covered at DPSL workshops on dairy cow management
- Understanding the rumen: introduction to rumen fermentation and health.
- Carbohydrate and protein nutrition and what this means in practice.
- Minerals and vitamins, performance changers.
- Fibre digestion, fibre as a nutrient, physically effective fibre.
- Understanding pasture, and pasture change: how this affects dry matter intake and cow performance; how it can be modified or buffered; the use of nitrogen; new grasses and crops and how to best use them.
- How to use non-pasture, complementary and supplementary feeds, expected responses, problems, practicalities of use.
- Genetics and bull selection.
- Cow comfort, including facilities, stockmanship skills, time, space, avoidance of stress, recognition of normal and abnormal cows, understanding “cow signs”.
- Cow management:
- Dry cows
- Metabolic problems and other production-limiting diseases
- Reproductive performance and troubleshooting
- Dry matter intake, cow capacity and appetite.
- Manipulation of milk components.
The DPSL series of dairy farming workshops consists of 10 whole days spread throughout the year. Generally, ten single day sessions are held monthly in the Waikato, five sessions of 2 days each elsewhere in New Zealand, and two 5-day courses internationally. We also run seminars for the dairy industry throughout the year.