'Moving Day' farmers NAIT ready

Date 31 May 2019

Taking ownership of a new dairy farm this Moving Day means plenty of planning and a new NAIT number for Michael and Susie Woodward.

The Canterbury based couple have achieved a lifetime aspiration, transitioning from 50/50 sharemilkers to take over a 170-hectare farm at Otorohanga in the Waikato.

During their 14-year journey from farm assistants to farm owners, they have only moved twice and even then, the farms were 10 minutes’ drive away.

Farmers moving farm or livestock, can no longer take the NAIT number with them. Depending on their circumstances, they may be able to take over the NAIT number at their new location.

Otherwise, they must register a new NAIT number for the farm they are going to and, if in a TBfree Movement Control Area, all animals must complete a TB test prior to movement.

The Woodwards expect to transfer around 400 livestock (Kiwicross) and some Angora goats to their new ‘self-contained’ farm which has space to graze young stock.

“We reckon it is going to take 10 stock trucks, aside from the farm machinery and furniture movers too. It’s an ideal set-up as we can register the main farm and drystock area as one NAIT location,” says Susie.

 

If you’re drenching or weighing livestock, it’s handy to have spare NAIT tags with you. I usually use my iPhone and take a picture of the new tag I have just applied and then match it against the original tag number listed online.

While Michael has acted as a NAIT delegate for several other farms, Susie is the registered PICA (person in charge of animals) and responsible for ensuring all livestock including calves are tagged and registered in NAIT within seven days.

“I used to do it manually with a MINDA print out, but after getting a wand the advantage is you can scan the animals there and then and upload the tag files after.

“I’m all for actioning things immediately, so that way after tagging you don’t forget to register them in NAIT or record and confirm their movements once they’ve moved off-farm.”

She says making NAIT part of the daily farm routine helps prevent any livestock management issues spiraling into something bigger. Using Protrack in the dairy shed, Susie can run reports of what animals are missing at milking and advise staff of missing animals or tags.

“I call it “house cleaning”, I do this often, it definitely helps to be diligent, especially since the M.Bovis outbreak. We have an established biosecurity farm plan based around boundaries and keeping herds separate, but I consider regular record-keeping of stock also important for minimising any disease risks.”

While NAIT tag retention can be an issue, Susie and the farm staff are always prepared.

“If you’re drenching or weighing livestock, it’s handy to have spare NAIT tags with you. I usually use my iPhone and take a picture of the new tag I have just applied and then match it against the original tag number listed online.”

Farmers can update the tag number for lost tags by going into their NAIT account and selecting the ‘replace tag’ function. This ensures the animals’ history is retained and supports lifetime traceability.

As part of the Moving Day checklist, Susie recently updated the NAIT account, something all farmers must do, regardless of whether they are planning to move farm or livestock.

“I’m not sure why other farmers haven’t done it yet. This is essential for improving animal traceability and supporting disease management”.

Moving Day advice here