Cow: Benscroft Nessa
Calf Age of calf when pic taken 9 Months as at 12/10/20
Exhibitor: PC&LM Gardner, Benscroft, 2547 Murchison HWY, Henrietta TAS
Comments: excellent producer, putting everything into her calf
Cow: Shady Creek Honey
Exhibitor: Dianne & Brian Davey, Shady Creek Miniature Herefords, 155 Nilma Shady Creek Rd
Comments: good top line lighter body condition
Cow D.O.B. 22/08/18
Exhibitor: A Livermore. Winswood Miniature Herefords, 1 Pogues Rd Woodside North Vic 3874
Comments: good muscle looks to be in calf
Once a gain a very strong class of females.
I place the Benscroft entry first due to her proven mothering ability which is reflects by a very sappy calf at foot.
In Second I place the Winswood entry. She displays a good muscling and a strong top line and. Hopefully these traits will come out in her calf.
Taking nothing away from the The Sandy Creek entry unfortunately she was over powered by stronger cattle on the day.
Class 1, Senior cow 3 years and over with own calf/calve at foot
Name: Bridgewater Layla
Calf age on photo date 5 months as at 12/10/20
Comments: good milk, very good calf, plenty of meat excellent body condition not too fat but if not careful may lay fat very easily which could affect milk capacity
Cow Winswood Gianne
Calf DOB: 4/12/2019
Exhibitor: Sandrian Park SPM 258 Huntingdale Crescent, Placid Hills Queensland
Comments: A very nice cow showing softness and obviously producing enough milk in very tough conditions.
Cow Shady Creek Fina
ID: SCN M016
Calf Bull calf born 2/10/2020
Exhibitor: Dianne & Brian Davey, 155 Nilma Shady Creek Rd, Nilma, 3821
Comments: A very fresh cow that will come onto her milk, displays good length, stands well on her feet.
Cow Shady Creek Gypsy
Exhibitor: Tulum Gully Michele Smith
Comments, A dry cow, that stands well on her feet, has excellent length
Cow Shady Creek Daphne
Calf D.O.B. 1/09/2020
Exhibitor: A Livermore Winswood Miniature Herefords 1 Pogues Rd Woodside North 3874
Comments: a cow that appears to have extreme length, producing enough milk, however may be have a very high condition score witch may be a negative trait by putting greater effort in her own maintenance and not in the calf’s growth, may have weakness in feet
A very good class of cows which was extremely difficult to make comment on. We have exhibitor who is showing a dry cow one with a newborn and three cows with calves at foot.
1st I have placed the Benscroft cow in 1st. She is displaying the ability to be a good milk producer which is reflected in her calf. This cow would be a welcome addition to any herd.
2nd I place the Sandrain cow 2nd. I really like this cow as she displays softness throughout. While lighter in body condition she has proven milking ability which is displayed in her calf.
3rd I place the Davey entry, Shady Creek Fina 3rd. Even though she is a fresh cow. She has a strong udder that will be able to hold lots of milk when she comes on. For me she has the makings of a being a excellent matron and is displaying great length. I would like, to see her calf at a similar age of the entries above.
When Marg and I purchased Apple Gully Farm eleven years ago it set in progress a steep learning curve. Both of us came with science backgrounds so we were very interested in examining farming from a scientific basis.
Information from friends with a sustainable farming background, a basic understanding of animal production and a desire to “do it right” meant our first port of call was a course in Sustainable Agriculture with a focus on Soil Mineral and Microbe management by Graeme Sait of Nutri-Tech Solutions in Eumundi, Queensland. Before the course we had several soil samples tested.
We were of course inundated with information but the take home message was that the soil is a massive factory of microbial activity that should not be disturbed. We can help with addition of deficient minerals and by not reducing photosynthetic activity (that is not overgrazing). Chemical fertilisers have a very limited role in pasture improvement.
Our first job on the farm was clearing a massive amount of scrub and regrowth that had severely impacted on grass growth. Generally what could be removed by my tractor was done leaving wooded parkland paddocks, perhaps a little too shaded but we liked the look and removing the larger trees would have vastly increased the workload (I was still a full time Vet in Sydney). Leaving the larger trees also had the advantage of maintaining a better balance for soil microbial activity.
We were reading avidly and the book that really made an impact on us was “Call of the Reed Warbler” by Charles Massy. Again the strong message was not to get in Mother Natures way. She has been at it for millions of years whereas upstart humans have been trying to influence soil and pasture for about a hundred years.
Charles Massy’s practical message was rotational grazing, many small paddocks that are not overgrazed and allowing the grass to be of sufficient height to allow continued photosynthetic activity. Photosynthesis is a vital process for producing valuable nutrients (particularly sugars) to the roots.
Finally we were introduced to Peter Andrew’s with reference to water management (“water should walk not run”) and we have strategically placed “weirs” to slow the water in times of heavy rainfall and allow slow lateral movement of water in to the adjacent paddocks when the rainfall has stopped.
I don’t pretend we have got it all right but it has been an interesting journey. We have made minimal chemical intrusions letting the existing pasture improve naturally (with assistance from manure and dung beetles and with periodic application of lime). I am still considering over sowing and some mineral supplementation but the jury is out. My brilliant discovery is the need for water (from the sky) above all else. Bring on La Niña.
Entries are closed now and the photos have been sent to the judges and we await the results. Here is a selection of the entries received.