BRUSSELS — It was a tight race for Ontario’s top managed herd, with five farms finishing within four points of the leader.
Haag Farms at Brussels in Huron County was crowned champion with a score of 944. Wanting to get to three times a day milking but realizing labour for that system is tough to find and retain, farm owner Roger Haag built a new barn in 2015 with three Lely robots and sand bedding, which he credits for the high score.
Summitholm Holsteins, owned by Joe Loewith & Sons of Lynden (with a score of 942), Pfister Dairy Farm, owned Hans Pfister of Mitchell (942), Wilmarlea Farms, owned by John and Willard MacKay at Embro (941), Albadon Farms Ltd., owned by Mark and Josh Ireland of Teeswater (940) and Muilwyk Farms Ltd. of Brownsville (940) were all within four points of Haag Farms.
The CanWest DHI best-managed herd gives points in six areas: Milk value, udder health, age at first calving, calving interval, longevity and herd efficiency.
Here are the top-ranked dairy farms for herd management for the top 10 counties in Western Ontario, according to the 2017 CanWest DHI progress report. The number in brackets is the county average.
1. Oxford County (582); Wilmarlea Farms, owned by John and Willard MacKay at Embro: 941
2. Waterloo County (576); Eldonna Farm, owned by Murray and Sandra Sherk at Plattsville: 920
3. Wellington County (574); Rollingview Farms, owned by Nelson and Leon Weber: 922
4. Bruce County (567); Albadon Farms Ltd., owned by Mark and Josh Ireland at Teeswater: 940
5. Dufferin County (559); Brakke Farm Inc. owned by Jacob, Nelleke and Henk Brakke at Grand Valley: 933
6. Perth County (550); Pfister Dairy Farm, owned Hans Pfister at Mitchell: 942
7. Elgin County (542); Muilwyk Farms Ltd. at Brownsville: 940
8. Huron County (542); Haag Farms Inc., owned by Robert and Karen Haag at Brussels: 944
9. Haldimand County (515); De Boer Acres Holsteins Inc., owned by Ben and Anieta De Boer at Selkirk: 880
10. Middlesex County (495); Dairi Acres Farm LTD. at Strathroy: 891