Your online orders cannot currently be placed through your PGW Customer Account Web login. Please contact our online support team for more information.

Securing volumes and pricing makes calf rearing easier

Securing volumes and pricing makes calf rearing easier

Securing volumes and pricing makes calf rearing easier

Rearing 800 calves from four days old every year for the past 18 years, Bryan Elliott has a fine-tuned operation.

Bryan and his wife Heather own Hinuera Farm Limited in Matamata. In addition to calf rearing, the Elliott’s business includes a plant nursery and vegetable cropping.

Describing the farm as a prime locality, Bryan notes the land is flat with good, free-draining soil. A former equine property, it is made up of several small paddocks which are ideal for calf rearing. Pasture is mixed, with a significant portion being annuals and a smaller portion in permanent grass.

The four-day-old calves are mostly sourced from local dairy farms and come in lots of about 50 at a time.

With the objective of growing the calves to 100 kg as fast as possible and for the lowest cost, Bryan relies on the team at PGG Wrightson, led by Matamata Store Manager Matt Stachurski, for all his rearing inputs and their nursery and cropping inputs too.

“We happily put all our business through PGG Wrightson because I believe we receive a great service,” says Bryan.

“In the calf rearing space, we decide on volumes at the start of the rearing season for milk replacer, calf meal, calf pellets and hygiene products, and Matt and the store team help us to secure the best price.”

Those products are then delivered as Bryan needs them.

Initially housed in sheds, the young animals are fed whole milk replacer twice a day for 10 to 14 days with ad-lib access to meal. They are then moved out into a paddock and switched to whey milk replacer, once a day.

Preventing disease through the sheds is Bryan’s major challenge. “We vaccinate the calves on arrival with Multine® 5-in-1, a clostridial vaccine,” he explains. “We maintain a policy of disinfecting the sheds between each mob of calves.” A bedding conditioner is regularly applied too.

Once the calves weigh 80 kg and consuming 1.5 kg of pellets per day, they are weaned and then sold when they reach 100 to 110 kg.

Bryan also uses PGG Wrightson to sell his calves.

“PGG Wrightson is the major sales team for calves; their network is an advantage, helping us find buyers New Zealand-wide,” says Bryan. “Our preference is selling direct off-farm, which they have helped us with too. I would say we sell 90 percent of our animals through them.”

In a nutshell, Bryan appreciates having a business partner he can rely on. “This is a team that is friendly and helpful and will always go the extra mile when required. It is why we have stuck strongly with PGG Wrightson for years.”

Registered pursuant to ACVM Act 1997, Multine® #A000934. Always read the registered label before use.