First cows milked at Te Awa

The first cows have been milked at Te Awa Dairies following the completion of the dairy conversion by Craigmore

Te Awa, located near Te Pirita, Central Canterbury, is a 600 hectare (ha) property which will have a milking platform of 300 ha, while the remaining land will be used for dairy support.

The development programme has involved the construction of an automated 60 bale rotary shed, a two-pond effluent system (which will include a greenwash system which allows effluent with solids removed to wash the yard area, saving thousands of litres of water per day), three new homes for staff, two new calf sheds – one including a small workshop area.

The irrigation system has been improved with the installation of three new pivot irrigators (35ha) and installation of 6 ha of K-line irrigation to increase the irrigated area on the top terrace to 220ha, and retro-fitting the existing 689m pivot with variable rate irrigation technology. Most of the top terrace has significantly improved cultivars of ryegrass, which will provide an excellent basis for milk production in the 2018-19 season. The non-irrigated areas will be re-grassed during the first two years under Craigmore management.

Te Awa is expected to have a peak milking herd of approximately 985 cows, milked twice per day, with target production in year one of 422,000 kgMS. The farm will be self-contained with young stock and winter grazing carried out on the bottom terrace. The farm will also offer contract grazing service for other farms in the Craigmore Group.

Craigmore aims to be a long-term producer of high quality food and forest products, managing the land sustainably, and working with the best managers in New Zealand. We regard it as a privilege and a responsibility to manage land, soils, water and other natural resources for the long-term.