Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

Focus Days

LUDF Focus Days are aimed at dairy farmers (owners, managers and staff) and dairy industry professionals who are invited to come along and hear about what we are doing at LUDF.

There are typically 4 Focus Days per year and each event provides an opportunity to review how the farm has performed and focus on challenges and opportunities in the coming months.  ...

Our October, February and May Focus Days are on the farm and run from 10:15am – 1pm,  morning tea and a BBQ lunch is included (no rsvp’s are required). The Winter Focus Day is often held nearby, but inside and in the afternoon allowing for moving cows on winter feed crops in the morning.

Questions and group discussion is encouraged at Focus Days as we learn from you as much as you learn from us. Spread the work and we look forward to see you there!

LUDF Focus day 2014 10 09 DSC3 LUDF Focus day 2014 10 09 DSC0107 LUDF Focus day 2014 10 09 DSC0098


Upcoming Focus Day dates for 2020


Focus Day's are currently postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19. 

On the 1st Tuesday of each month, we will be hosting a 'Virtual Farm Visit' on Zoom between Farm Manager, Peter Hancox, and Farm Consultant, Jeremy Savage.

Click here to watch the May 5th Farm Visit 

On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, we will be hosting a Zoom Webinar, covering a different, Canterbury relevant topic each month. The topic for May 19th will be winter feed management

Click here for the May 19th Facebook Event

Previous Focus Days


Focus Day Thursday 13 February

 Topics: Mating results and Managing Time Off; Our Future, Their Future; On-Farm Compliance; Motivating Change on your dairy business; LUDF profitability updates 

 Handout from the day here.

Video recordings of the day can be found on our Youtube channel here 


 Focus Day Thursday 10 October

 Topics: Pasture management, mating without bulls, managing milk price risk, pasture monitoring systems and profitability benchmarking.

 Handout from the day here.


 Focus Day Tuesday 30 April

 Topics: Focus on costs, LUDF, compliant for 2023 nitrogen leaching already, how did this impact profit?


 LUDF Farm Focus Day 21 February

 Attracting and retaining the best quality people for the dairy industry

  • Passing your Environmental audit with flying colours
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • LUDF On-Farm Update

  Download the handout here.

 Read Tom Chapman's talk on 'Expectations of the next generation of farmers working in our industry' here.



Tuesday 30 October Open Farm Walk Day (instead of October Focus Day) 9-11am All welcome

 Download the handout.

July 2018

Click here for the handout.

LUDF Profitability Benchmarking and Wintering Day

Compare the financial performance of LUDF and 8 other farms during the 2017-18 season in the July Focus day.

Note the trends in production and expenses over time and LUDF’s performance compared to this high performing group of Canterbury farms. Grateful thanks to the farmers involved for sharing their data, and DairyNZ for their assistance in collating this information.

May 2018

Click here for the handout.

Transforming effluent management:

Hear about an emerging new technology that looks to reduce effluent storage requirements, fresh water use, and environmental & safety risks linked to farm dairy effluent.

As well as the end of season scorecard:  Production, profit, InCalf results, calving spread, N-Loss and GHG emissions.

February 2018

Click here for the handout

Research into practice:

  • Forages for Reduces Nitrate Leaching
  • Winter crops and standoff areas
  • Plantain dominant pasture
  • Eating >18,000 kgDM/ha
  • Future cuse of dry cow products
  • LUDF seasonal update

October 2017
Click here for the handout
- Farm Biosecurity - What are the real risks?
- Outcome of the wet winter
- Season to date farm performance
- Controlling expenses per kgMS
- Mating plans - Planned changes this season

July 2017
Click here for the handout
- Annual Profitability Comparison of leading Canterbury Dairy Farms
- Exploring the next Frontier
- Following 3 years of stunning performance at LUDF, its your opportunity to contribute to the next phase.

4th May 2017
Click here for the handout
Research Results
- Subclinical Ketosis - performance impact?
- DairyNZ summer rotation length / pre-graze mowing trial results
- Fodder beet - LUDF's lessons learnt thus far

23rd February 2017
Click here for the handout
Changing times at LUDF
- Respiratory Disease (IBR): Was it significant?
- Repro Results: 63% 6 week incalf - what now?
- Autumn Management: Fodderbeet opportunity


13th October 2016
Click here for the Handout
On-farm performance:
- Pasture Management
- Regrassing that pays
- Mating plans
Consent Time:
- Land Use Consents
- LUDF's draft Application

July 2016
Click here for the Handout
2015/2016 profitability comparison
- Over 1800kgMS/ha and 520kgMS/cow with only 126 kgDM imported feed/cow.
- Farm working expenses below $3.50/kgMS.
- What are the drivers behind these results?
- Did changes made at LUDF this season put them at the top of the profitability comparison?
- What further adjustments are these farms implementing next season?  

May 2016
Click here for the Handout
Where next? (Survival 2015/16, Sustainable 2017/16)
- Farm Working Expenses
- Implementing Low Imput System
- Farm performance this season
- WorkSafe - Keep Safe, Keep Farming

February 2016
Click here for the Handout
Bounce Forward - Resilient and ready for the upside
- Matching Feed Supply and Demand with less inputs
- Environmental Changes - constraints or opportunities?
- Using Technology to reduce costs / maximise production


October 2015
Click here for the Handout
Re-jigging the system to maintain viability 
- Pasture Management; and
- Launch of the Sustainable Dairying - Workplace Action Plan

July 2015
Click here to download the Handout
Pushing for Profit
- LUDF Financial Benchmarking
- DairyNZ Tactics for Tight Times

7th May 2015
Click here to download the Handout
LUDF 2014/15 Scorecard
Profitability............................................................. B+
Estimated N-Leaching............................................ A+
Cost Control........................................................... A+
Lessons learnt from 2014/15 Season and revised plan for 2015/16
+ Mating analysis – understanding the decline in 6 week InCalf
+ ECAN Variation 1 – Summary of Regulatory Changes.

19th February 2015
Click here to download the Focus Day Handout
Staying Profitable - Transferable tactics for tight times
- On Target with fewer cows and less inputs
- Autumn feeding options – balancing CS / milk production / winter feed requirements
- Making regrassing pay at this years payout


9th october 2014
Focus Day Handout
More from less - 2.3kgMS/cow on grass
Upscaling the P21 Research – Results to date
Plus: Mating Strategies without induction Including Dr Chris Burke, Reproduction Scientist, DairyNZ

June/July 2014 (Combined LUDF Focus Day/ DairyNZ Wintering for Success)

Focus Day Handout
Wintering:  20% of the year, 30% of farm costs, affecting 100% farm performance:
Evaluation of wintering system vs targets and objectives
Latest data on local wintering research
Compare LUDF’s 2013/14 Profitability with leading dairy farms

8th May 2014
Focus Day Handout
Profitable or Compromised?
Is early autumn culling the easy AND profitable solution to reduce N losses?Effluent WOF – Available Soon
2014/15 Plan – Grain, Concrete or ??
What will it take for LUDF to achieve further reductions in Nitrate leaching losses?

20th February 2014
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
78% - 6 week Incalf at LUDF this season
Impact LWRP and Selwyn Waihora Sub Chapter
Tipping Point? - The financial reality of farming without Eco-n, less clover and less Nitrogen Fertiliser?
ECAN - Changes required by the Land and Water Plan
Selwyn/Waihora sub-regional section (Variation 1)


10th October 2013
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
Farming Profitably within a Nitrogen limit
Spring Pasture Management
Mating Plans
Research insights from AgResearch

11th July 2013
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
Cow Condition Scoring
LUDF Profit Analysis and Comparison with other farms
P21 Dairy Systems Research - Dairy Farming within the Nutrient Limits
Pasture Mixture, Grazing Residuals and Supplements for Dairy Systems.

9th May 2013
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
Budgeted and forecast profit
N Fertiliser and Gibberellic Acid Use
Cow Liveweight and Body Condition Score
Farming Profitably within N Limits
Feed Conversion Efficiency or Residual Feed Intake

21 February 2013
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
Financial Budget and Expenses to date
Holding Milk Production when pasture ME declines
Mating Results
P21 Dairy System Research
Diverse Pasture - Impact, Risk and Opportunities


18 October 2012
LUDF Handout - Farm Update
Forage Value Index - Pasture Selection
Identifying Poor Paddocks
Determining and achieving target liveweights for young stock

12 July 2012
LUDF Handout - Production Summary
Funancial Results 2010/11 vs 2011/12 Budget & 2011/12 Actual
Five Farm Profitability Comparison for 2011/12
LUDF Budget for 2012/13

10 May 2012
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Comparison of daily ME/ha grown
Energy intake per cow/ha
Top 10 changes at LUDF this season
Nitrogen use and mitigation
Linear Programming Overview

23 February 2012
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Expenses to date
Multi Farm Comparison
Precision Paddock Management / Feed Supply
Precision Grazing / Animal Management


13th October 2011
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Precision Dairy Farming
Whole paddock sampling - does it pay?

7th July 2011
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Nutrient Management Plans
Genemark - LUDF results
Precision Dairy Farming - LUDF 2011-12

5th May 2011
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Reproduction trial results
Precision Dairy Farming

24 February 2011
LUDF Handout - Where has the Clover gone?


14 October 2010
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Centre Pivot Irrigator Performance PDF Quick Test
DIY: Spray Irrigation PDF Performance Evaluation

1st July 2010
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Things we have learned this season
LUDF vs Canterbury
Clover Root Weevil

6th May 2010
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Reproductive performance
OAD in early lactation
Effluent system upgrade

25th February 2010
LUDF Handout - Seasonal Update
Cash flow and forecast to year end
Analysis of GA and RLM Roadley Ltd with LUDF
PDF Effluent Handout


24th November 2009
Tight management for tight times on the LUDF
PDF Handout

8th October 2009
Spring update: seasonal comment
PDF Handout 
Feeding management
Milking once-a-day at start of season
Mating options to maintain BW
Monthly financial tactical management
LUDF Variance Report and budget

2nd July 2009
Profit comparison: LUDF unveiled
PDF Handout 
Seasonal update
Management practices of dairy cows on kale
SIDDC farm system review of the LUDF
LUDF Financial Report
LUDF budget vs actual comparisons
PDF Kale grazing presentation

14th May 2009
Achieve target production OR maximise profit?
PDF Handout 
Seasonal update
Why does the LUDF grow so much grass?
Profitable use of supplements at LUDF

19th February 2009
Survival or success? Maximising on-farm opportunities in a volatile economic climate
PDF Handout
Seasonal update / mating results
Sprinkler placement
Native tree planting
Autumn strategies / Clover Root Weevil
Planning for 2009/10


9th October 2008
Another wet spring! Just an inconvenience or a disaster?
LUDF PDF Seasonal update 
PDF Incalf
Using the PDF Rising Platemeter and C-dax rapid pasture meter
PDF Silage making decisions

3rd July 2008
Making Income Hit the Bottom Line
PDF Handout 
Financial results 2007/08: cash operating surplus more than trebles but were opportunities missed?
2008/09 Budget dissected - the challenge of controlling costs.
Operational refinements: irrigation audit/reviewing the runoff
Greenhouse gases - all hot air or a risk to your business: LUDF case study gives some persectives

8th May 2008
Will technology take us to a new frontier?
PDF Handout 
Reproduction performance
Protrack at LUDF
Irrigation - Aquaflex
Breeding technologies - short gestation and sexed semen
Nitrate leaching results on LUDF
Farm automation
Feed and environment

21st February 2008
Pioneer country tamed
PDF Handout 
Making stones grow grass
LUDF Management principles applied to tough dairying land
Sharemilkers making it work
Leo Donkers - another two years into the system at Te Pirita


11th October 2007
Tips for managers, skills for staff
PDF Handout 
LUDF Update/farm accounts to August
Pastures for profit
Mating management

12th July 2007
PDF Handout
The season @ LUDF vs Budget
Benchmarks and DairyBase
Where to next season
Financial and productivity - 5 years at LUDF
Back to top

3rd May 2007
Chickens come home to roost!
PDF Handout 
LUDF Nutrient Management Plan - missing PDF on current site

15th March 2007
Irrigation Focus Day
PDF Handout 
Consent to take water
Getting the most out of water
Can the system do the job well?
Warrant of Fitness for irrigated agriculture
Water in pasture out

22nd February 2007
Supplements for production OR profit, OR both!
PDF Handout

2005 - 2006 Focus Days

26th October 2006
PDF Handout 
What we had to deal with - pre and post snow
Profitable pasture renovation on LUDF

6th July 2006
PDF Handout 

11th May 2006
PDF Handout 

23rd February 2006
PDF Handout

4th May 2005
PDF Handout 

3rd February 2005
PDF Handout