14 April 2020
2020 finalists: Ryan Sanderson & Malinda Wynyard of Hollow Point Pastures — Dairy.
Hollow Point Pastures Ltd and contract milkers Ryan Sanderson and Malinda Wynyard can be found on the 325ha dairy farm, Homebrook, owned by Mark Anderson and Kathleen Wynyard.
They’re not far from the Gisborne District Council’s western boundary at Matawai, where three metres of rain falls every year.
Ryan and Malinda have been dairy farming for over a decade, steadily working their way to managing a large operation. The move to Homebrook was an opportunity to take over the final stages of a recent conversion and create an environment to nurture native species such as weka and native ducks. They are planting trees, fencing wetlands and drains, and creating silt and excess nutrient filters to help protect the waterways and provide that habitat.
The business milks 700 Friesian and crossbred cows on a 300ha milking platform. In the 2018/19 season, 650 cows produced 806 kilograms of milk solids per hectare – a steady increase on previous years.
As cultivation has increased grass growth, milk production has followed with a target of 1000 kilograms next season.
Great care is taken to provide their animals with top quality feed, both grown on farm and brought in from local packhouses – the owners have a contract for waste fruit and vegetables.
Strict animal treatment records are kept in their dairy office with help from Fonterra and LIC’s MINDA systems. But Ryan says his port of call for our animal health is a smooth, well-kept surface on the races, with their cows traveling a couple of kilometres a day.
Effluent is applied to more than 80 hectares of the farm through traveling irrigator, cannon and pods. A 90-day storage pond means irrigation can be shut off during wet periods.
Focus has been on applying effluent to steeper country where re-grassing is next to impossible. Ryan’s aim is to grow as much grass on the hill sides as the flats.
The couple is involved with the local playcentre and Malinda is office administrator at Matawai School.