In late April, Stuff.co.nz published an article titled “Breaking out of the milk powder trap: Why dairy may turn to barns.”
This piece talks to former Lincoln University agribusiness professor, Keith Woodford, who believes New Zealand's dairy production system needs a rethink.
He discusses the pitfalls and dangers of being reliant on China and our whole milk powder exports, suggesting we may have backed ourselves into a corner by relying on this niche export product, whose growth has likely peaked and now plateaued.
The crux of the article is that we need to seek efficiencies in the way we produce milk rather than relying on the price of the product to increase. This is where Dairy Barn Systems comes into it.
Woodford is an advocate of dairy barns as a way to start to deal with both the environmental and structural problems of the industry.
To back this us, Jeff Gould, a mid-Canterbury farmer who runs 1100 cows talks of the benefits of cows in barns. He discusses the animal welfare perspective, the water quality debate, and most importantly, goes into detail about the cost of set up and ongoing cost efficiencies per kilo of milk solids.