WelFarm is an assurance programme designed to help dairy farmers better understand key animal health markers and how they impact on the optimisation of on-farm production performance.
What are the benefits of WelFarm?
There are two key benefits of introducing WelFarm into your farm management programme.
- Animal productivity – The WelFarm programme objective is to help you better understand the key animal health markers on your farm. These will be benchmarked against farms throughout New Zealand and will provide a clear understanding of areas where optimisation of farm productivity could be obtained.
- Animal wellness assurance – Providing assurance to the growing power of big food retailers and food brands, to satisfy the demands of their consumers with regard to food safety, animal health and well-being.
What does WelFarm measure?
A wide range of key performance and animal wellness assurance parameters. These measures are all important, and interlink with each other to provide a holistic animal health picture, which can be used to determine where productivity solutions could be implemented.
1. Reproduction parameters – 6-week in-calf rate and not-in-calf rate.
2. Herd health parameters – mastitis treatment use, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) use, total antibiotic use, cow mortality rate, herd replacement rate, bulk tank somatic cell counts.
3. Wellness assurance parameters – body condition score, lameness score, tail score.
What are the benefits to me?
It is well understood that the animal health performance on-farm is critical in achieving production performance. Even a small shift in in-calf rates, reducing somatic cell count, reducing mastitis and increased milk solids can have a significant impact on the production performance. Best practice use of antibiotics and incidence of disease are of importance to the wider industry. Further, the assurance to the consumer that the production from your farm is from WelFarm animals.
With your data, we are able to benchmark your farm nationally and locally, which will help identify areas where farm productivity and animal wellness could be optimised through change management. Your local veterinarian will interpret this information and be able to provide you with the best advice when working with you on developing your plans to reach your farm performance and animal health goals.
The ongoing measures and analysis will provide assurance to outsiders that optimal animal wellness is paramount and will help you understand your progress to achieve your production goals.
Who developed WelFarm?
WelFarm is one of the best practice initiatives XLVets have developed for New Zealand farmers. The goal of XLVets is to deliver quality national services for all groups of farmers, through service delivery, innovation, partnership, training and development. The member clinics work together; sharing experience, knowledge and skills in order to define and deliver the highest standards of veterinary practice focused on animal health and productivity.
During the 2018/19 season XLVets member clinics ran the WelFarm project on over 180 farms nationally, representing over 100,000 dairy cows.
To find out more about WelFarm please contact your local Franklin Vets clinic.