Axel Nielsen-Vold loves a challenge. Four years ago he was working for a share milking company looking after a few of their farms in Southland, when the opportunity arose to manage one of the largest dairy farm operations in the North Island of New Zealand. At 813Ha, Archilles Dairy Farm is one of 13 Landcorp Farms that have sprung up in the last 8 years in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Each farm is managed independently, the Archilles farm employing 10 fulltime staff with some seasonal workers required as calf rearers during calving season.
We put our first piece of StockRock down six years ago. Some things I [Michael] have noticed are : how quick the races dry out after a wet period - hours compared to days on the conventional race - and also how when the cows hit the StockRock on the race they spread right out and walk on the whole race, which in turn delivers them to the shed quicker. We can see the benefits StockRock brings to our business in reduced lameness, and intend on continuing to resurface more of our races in the future (2015).
We have had StockRock laid on our 155 ha farm since 2008. We are currently milking 450 cows and we have found that having StockRock laid in problem areas, where mud and effluent build up, has resulted in enhanced cow flow into our cowshed.
We put StockRock on our races in October 2013. We had tried many alternatives, lime rock, soft brown, foot baths, and rubber mats over a number of years but still had a major lameness problem. Our farm is 2.8km to the back paddock, so need good races and minimal foot trouble. Since the StockRock went down, the cows move down the race the best I have seen. Lameness has significantly reduced, effluent on the race is now insignificant, and time travelling to and from the paddocks has reduced. After procrastinating over the cost of the StockRock for a number of years, we are very glad we laid it this year and wish it had been done earlier. I intend to lay more in the future using the 65mm product.
Over the last 7 years I have been laying StockRock, and I have had very good feedback from my clients saying that their cow flow has dramatically improved, there are no more stones on the concrete areas because this product cements in place so well. It has been more durable than any other product I have used around cowsheds. I would recommend StockRock to any farmer who has a lameness issue. It works!! (2013)