Breed and Feed Deliver Cream of Crop

Breed and Feed Deliver Cream of Crop | The Cultivator Spring 2019

In the picturesque South Coast of NSW, overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Gerroa, prize Holstein cattle are bred by dairy farmers Frank and Carol Condon to produce premium quality milk.

Founded by the couple in 1960, Sea Breeze Holsteins is run with on-farm support from their son Paul, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, and wife Maxine.

“One of the most important parts of our operation at Sea Breeze is family,” said Mr Condon Jr, one of the couple’s seven adult children who all still take great interest in the farm.

“With their partners plus 22 grandchildren, it makes for a full household when all come home to the farm,” said Mrs Condon of their family enterprise.

Totalling more than 250ha over three blocks, their highly productive dairying operation is largely dryland pasture-based.

With enviable rainfall and fertile volcanic soils, they milk 120 registered Holsteins year-round, utilising their modern DeLaval eight-aside double-up (herringbone) dairy to full capacity.

Alongside their rye pasture during winter and kikuyu as a dominant summer grass, the Condons’ feed mix includes Manildra Stockfeed DDGS Wheat Pellets rationed at eight kilograms per day. Depending on the winter season, the herd may also be offered rye silage made on-farm or hay.

The DDGS Wheat Pellets – an excellent source of protein and energy in the herd’s diet – are specifically formulated to maximise milk production and enhance calf growth and wellbeing.

Mr Condon said their prize animals found the pellets “very palatable”.

“And we’ve always been happy with the quality,” he told The Cultivator.

“We introduce the pellets to our calves, with a small ration offered from their first week of life, gradually increasing with their age.”

Consistently producing premium milk is core to the Condon family’s operation, an achievement they have been acknowledged for nationwide.

“Along with my father’s Holstein Australia Master Breeder Award in 2002, we’ve been placed in Dairy Australia’s Quality Milk Awards top 100 dairy farms for the past 12 years – something we are really proud of,” said Mr Condon.

“Top quality every time is our end goal, and the pellets assist the consistency of our feed offering, supporting the milk production of the cows.”

Manildra Group National Stockfeed Manager Tim Wirth said the DDGS Wheat Pellets provided a uniquely balanced source of fermentable proteins and non-fibre carbohydrates, beneficial to rumen stability and milk fat production.

Strong foundations are also essential to top quality and getting the breeding right is a major focus at Sea Breeze Holsteins.

“Genetics are integral and our breeding goals are at the front of our operation,” said Mr Condon.

“Attributes such as udder structure, teat placement, and a good set of feet and legs ensure longevity, strength, and positive milk production.”

“We’ve been breeding polled Holsteins on the property for about five years now, with 60 per cent of our herd now polled.”

“We sell our stud heifers to domestic markets as well as the international dairy heifer export market, with consignments in the past 12 months going to Vietnam and Thailand.”

Breed and Feed Deliver Cream of Crop