Richard Adamson farms in Bushman’s nek, in Southern Natal. His pure bred herd of 450 Jersey cows run at any one time, being an all year round breeder. He grows Rye and Kikuyu pastures right up against the Drakensberg mountains and supplements his dry matter shortage with maize silage for approximately 10 months of the year. The herd used to be registered from the previous owner, thus has a well-bred line up of great genetics and is considered a mature herd where it is easy to find numerous cows well past their 5th lactation and still thriving.
The cows are fed a premixed dairy meal in the parlour according to their production, and are averaging an intake of 6 and a half to 7 kilograms per cow per day. Richard is breeding for solids, volume and longevity as the herd cannot grow in size as the farm has reached its capacity. The cows currently average 19 – 25 litres as their peak per day. Due to the excessively high rainfall in the area, the biggest challenge of this farm is mud in all shapes and forms.
When asked about the greatest highlight of farming on Glen Gowrie, Richards answer was simple; he has an absolute love for farming and the day to day management of milking cows. He says when starting dairying the benefit is that you create a cash flow that allows you to build the business from the start. He has been farming for the last 45 years and his passion shines through clearly in the immense sense of pride he takes in everything he does. The calf pens are immaculate, with the littlest calves having jackets and heating lamps in the winter. He has a great relationship with his staff and when entering the dairy there is always a good feel in the air. The cows are calm and happy and we think this is a testament to Richard and his team.
When ABS started with Richard, he mentioned the need for a breeding programme to better take care of the hard work that was done years ago from the previous owner of the herd. The ABS mating program GMS has been successfully implemented in the herd, using his DIMMSA data and has allowed Richard to see a genetic view of the herd, the positive and negative attributes and also rank his herd using the Herd Ranking Tool. This enables Richard to decide which cows to breed to beef, which progeny to keep and which to use Sexcel on. With the first of the new generation of ABS calves finally on the ground in this beautiful herd, we are excited to see what we can do together. Doing a Genetic Review each year it ensures we stay on track with the herds needs and progress in a positive and ultimately profitable direction.