The first of June is traditionally moving day for dairy farmers across the country and requires careful management and good communication for a stress-free transition.
It’s a busy time on the farming calendar and patience on the roads is important, says DairyNZ engagement lead Tony Finch.
“We have a huge number of farmers moving households from one farm to another. That includes personnel, contents, machinery and, in particular, livestock,” Finch says.
While the moving day was traditionally just one day, it can span over a week. With some farms moving livestock by foot, patience is paramount while travelling on country roads.
“People need to be aware that rural roads could have increased traffic and people will need to have an element of patience and slow down.
“Don’t toot your horns because it’s a stressful time for people and animals, and we don’t want to elevate that,” Finch said.
Good communication between farm owners, the people leaving the farm and new ones coming on would ensure the move is as seamless as possible.
Co-ordinating and talking with transport companies would mean there were no misunderstandings around stock departure and arrival dates, Finch said.
It is important to take breaks to keep stress levels to a minimum and ensure animals are treated with care and respect.
Biosecurity is a big-ticket item and all movements need to be recorded and tracked through Nait.
It is equally important to ensure that all boundary fences are checked and that any equipment being moved is clean.
“It’s about ensuring you look after your people and your team and communicate well with the people helping you move.
“Livestock should be as stress–free as possible and biosecurity needs to be at the highest level,” Finch said.
Tips for Moving Day:
– Ensure all cows have Nait tags and are registered in the Nait system
– Check the farm you are moving to is TB and M. bovis free
– Ensure all equipment is clean
– Contact your insurance company and let them know where you are moving to and when.
– Use professional cleaners to do a final house clean. If you are doing it yourself, make sure it’s to a high standard.
– Make sure you know when the house you are moving into will be vacant.
– Pack essential items such as important documents and phone chargers separately.
– Ensure body condition score targets will be met as per your contract on takeover date.
– Wear high visibility clothing when moving stock by foot, and use warning signs and a flashing light on vehicles.
– Plan ahead and take the most direct route possible.
– If moving machinery, drive slowly, and have a pilot vehicle if necessary.
– If using a stock truck, book this in advance.
- By Claire Inkson