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Parkside’s feed pad has allowed its owners to increase production by around 24 per cent. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Pros to feed pad discussed at Parkside

A visit to Parkside Dairy Farm in Pipiroa as part of the P3 Trust’s Monitor Farm Field Day was a chance for farmers to gather insight into other practises undertaken around the Hauraki.
Hosted by Greg and Tessa Fisher, the November 23 field day had a “great turnout” and provided guests with a perspective into Parkside’s operations – including the use of their sheltered feed pad.
The farm’s owners, shareholders, and directors include managing director Nick Hoogeveen, Harry White, Neil Haywood, and Bruce Nicol, while Greg Fisher has operated the farm since June 1, 2022.
“We discussed the reasons for putting in the covered feed pad on Parkside, and what was considered and determined when evaluating this eight years ago,” Tessa Fisher told The Profile.
“We discussed how it has run over the past eight years, and learnings since putting the feed pad in.”
A feed pad is used for regular supplementary feeding and loafing of cattle on an area of land that is either formed with a solid foundation and/or concreted to establish a permanent sheltered feed pad.
They offer a solution to issues like animal lameness and heat stress, while allowing efficient feed use. However, they require significant work to establish and maintain, as well as a strong effluent management system.
“Greg discussed how he runs the feed pad day to day, and the pros and cons of operating one,” Tessa said. “It’s been a beneficial investment for Parkside and has increased the average production by approximately 24 per cent.
“This has largely been achieved by increased feed efficiency and increased pasture growth.”
The farm has 350 cows and two full-time-equivalent staff, and guests were also able to check out the Parkside herd in the paddock, while hearing updates from monitor farms about how they got through the wet winter season.
Tessa encouraged more farmers to get involved with the field days if they weren’t already.
“P3 Trust puts on two field day events per year, and it should be a great learning opportunity to see what other farmers are doing in the area,” she said. “We try to demonstrate something different each field day as well as have a catch up on the monitor farms. We are keen to hear ideas of what you would like to see at field days or through our education series also.”
Established in 2012 by dairy farmers, the P3 Trust is driven by a clear purpose: to enhance the profitability, sustainability, and satisfaction of Hauraki Plains dairy farmers, while uplifting the wealth and well-being of the broader Hauraki Plains community.
DETAILS: To stay up to date, subscribe to the weekly P3 Hauraki Plains Monitor Farms e-newsletter at, or join the P3 Dairy Trust Facebook group.