New Zealand’s dairy farmers are faced with a huge range of daily challenges, not the least of which is the ongoing battle to detect and defeat mastitis.
Mastitis is a costly disease for both the individual farmer and the overall industry.
It affects milk quality and cow productivity, and establishing the root causes can be difficult. It is however, with the support of PureMilk consultants, a challenge that can now be confidently overcome.
It has been estimated that mastitis costs the United States between $1.7 and $2 billion annually. Here in New Zealand, on average, the disease can cost an 800 cow herd approximately $60,000 per year. Industry estimates put the cost of mastitis to the New Zealand dairy industry at around $250 million per annum.
The numbers reflect the scale of the problem. To benchmark the New Zealand industry against international competition, the approach from the start for PureMilk has been to avoid ‘the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ mindset of mastitis treatment.
In 2009 PureMilk was started as a response to the considerable costs mastitis was placing on the New Zealand dairy industry.
Mastitis expert Dr Adrian Joe developed the concept of a mastitis consulting service after spending considerable time analysing every possible mastitis risk factor within the milking process.
Along with Ian Hodge and Steve Cranefield, Adrian developed the service even further over the coming years.
This process recognised that there was no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mastitis control. Every herd and dairy is different, and no staff milking routine is ever exactly the same.
To make any change requires an incomparable understanding of what goes on at the interface between the milking machine and the cow – how it can be changed and, most importantly, when and why it should be changed.
The positive response from field trials of new techniques and the subsequent use of the programme by leading New Zealand farmers ensured the company could expand it’s service nationwide.
With Ian and Adrian now at the helm of PureMilk the initial vision of the company remains the same.
Senior Mastitis Consultant
Ian has 22 years valuable experience as a veterinarian and mastitis consultant, with extensive experience dealing with mastitis problems and successes in reducing BMSCCs in large herds.
Working out of Otago and Canterbury he’s seen a huge range of issues in this time – and provided an equal amount of focused solutions with his efforts helping New Zealand farmers fight mastitis.
Now, after over five years at PureMilk, he remains committed to providing the very best in impartial, straightforward guidance, ensuring cows are milked under optimal conditions and reducing the amount of antibiotics used to treat mastitis.
Ian finds the responses he has from the results of his efforts as one of the most enjoyable aspects of the day-to-day work.
“It’s personally rewarding seeing the farmers ‘light up’ when problems have been identified and the solutions are relatively simple,” he says. “We provide these quick fixes and the peace of mind that comes with it.”
Away from the work and Ian stays equally busy. From DIY at home to fly-fishing to playing the guitar, there’s always something interesting to focus on.
Tim is a Veterinarian and has been based in Te Awamutu since 2011, he particularly enjoys working alongside clients to find cost-effective and efficient solutions to problems, and increasing productivity and profitability on farm.
Through his work in Te Awamutu at VetEnt, along with time working with dairy herds overseas, he has been involved in a range of herd level issues with a variety of solutions. In particular he is passionate about helping clients identify specific mastitis risk factors and working to find simple cost effective solutions. He is currently working alongside Adrian Joe learning the ropes as a PureMilk consultant.
Outside PureMilk, Tim enjoys sports, spending time with friends and enjoying New Zealand’s fantastic mountains and beaches as often as possible.
In conjunction with FarmCare our PureMilk service is offered along with StockCare. Each of these services has been carefully developed over the years to help Kiwi farmers make the most of their resources. Each has been created to provide an expert perspective, the right tools and the specialist guidance necessary to ensure the right course of action is taken for any one farmer’s unique situation.
The combined knowledge within this network ensures that advice is easily shared, and specialist expertise available when and where it is needed. The network is both wide-ranging and comprehensive while being individually focused and efficiently delivered. It is a holistic approach that makes certain that every detail is uncovered and all productivity gains made.