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Farm Performance


Owl Farm aims to produce 175,000 kg milksolids annually from 405 cows on a milking platform of 144 hectares.  We purchase in 160 t dry matter (DM) palm kernel and 80 t DM grass silage along with 10,000L molasses for colostrum cows. We normally harvest 50-60 ha of grass silage and 3-5 ha of hay each year and grow 11 ha of summer crops.  As a DairyNZ System 2 farm, approximately 10-15% of total feed imported is used to support early calving and summer dry periods.

Primary KPIs 

  • 15 t dry matter (DM) of pasture and crop harvested per hectare 
  • 850 kg milksolids per hectare produced by 31st December each year

Secondary KPIs 

  • Each cow producing the equivalent of 90% of her liveweight in kg milksolids (MS)
  • Producing 1 kg MS from every 13 kg DM eaten
  • 90% of all milk provided is of the highest quality
  • Cows are in the top 5% of NZ herds for genetic quality 

Farm Performance Stories

Herd Reproduction

A vitally important area of performance. Read here about the mating programme, 6-week in-calf rate, empty rate.


Selecting the best calves and ensuring adequate nutrition to meet liveweight targets is essential to grow healthy, productive youngstock. Calves are grazed on chicory crops through the summer at Owl Farm.


Crops are grown on the farm and used to supplement pasture during the summer. Read here about the use of turnips and kale.

Paddock Performance

How much does each paddock grow on the farm? Measuring weekly paddock yield, feed quality and sward condition allows us to monitor performance, allocate feed accurately, and plan for pasture renovation.

Feed Budgets

Feed budgets are used throughout the year and specifically for autumn dry-off dates and spring feed allocation. It is essential to know how much grass is available for the herd and what, if any supplements need to be fed. Feed budgets are a useful tool in this respect.

Milk Production

Milk production changes across the course of a cow's lactation. Here you can find the details of Owl Farm's milk production throughout the season.


Sometimes grass is just not enough! Find out what else Owl Farm uses to top up the diet when necessary.

Fertiliser and Pasture Management

Correct nutrients are required to grow the best pastures and crops. Find out how we make sure we grow healthy nutritious feed for cows throughout the year.

Milk Quality

Milk is a natural substance created by the cow. Sometimes the cow's immune system is working overtime which causes an increase in somatic cells in the milk. It is important to monitor SCC and use various strategies to keep the cows healthy and the cell count low.

Herd Genetics

Breeding Worth (BW) is the index used to rank cows and bulls according to their ability to convert feed into profit. Owl Farm aims to be in the top 5% of herds in NZ. Find out why.