Why Josh Jones rears calves with AgriVantage

On the back of a very tough rearing season in 2020, Josh Jones’ calves averaged 72kg at 6-7 weeks. His vet remarked the calves “looked amazing” considering.

Based just outside Gore, Josh owns Avon Park Farm. Here he rears 250 calves and 30 lambs annually. For two years, Josh has reared his calves with Sprayfo Blue Premium whey-based CMR. This last season (2020), he switched to Sprayfo Delta Energised Calf Milk.

“Sprayfo Blue is a good product” he notes, “easy to use and we grew good calves.

“At 4-5 weeks, once they were onto concentrates, they really thrived. There was clear evidence of a developed rumen and they gained about a kg a day. We were consistently achieving our target weight of 70 to 75kg at around 6 to 8 weeks with Sprayfo Blue.”

Josh’s set-up

Farm type: calf rearing

Location: Gore

Rearing no’s: 250 calves (+ 30 lambs)

Products used: Sprayfo Delta CMR, Biopect, Stalosan F

Weaning target weight: 80kg

Last season’s yearling bulls, reared on Sprayfo Blue CMR, weighed an average of 453kg at 14 months.

Within a couple of days, Cheryl was on farm to provide direction. Because the calves needed to regain the weight lost whilst unwell and still meet the target weight timeframe, she advised Josh to switch the calves from Sprayfo Blue to Sprayfo Delta Energised Calf Milk, a higher energy CMR, and add Biopect into the milk.

Josh believes this was a key factor in turning the sicker calves around.

“I have no doubt that the combination of Biopect and Sprayfo Delta helped us to keep the sick mob alive and supported a quick recovery.”

Based on the composition of whole milk, AgriVantage’s new Sprayfo Delta is higher in fat than any other CMR available in NZ. Also, being more than 95 per cent digestible, Sprayfo Delta provides more nutrients per kilogram which leads to a faster growth rate.

“Technically, Sprayfo Delta was ideally suited to Josh’s situation” Cheryl explains. “Being a premium high energy CMR, it provided the concentrated source of energy and other nutrients required to help ensure weight gain, therefore supporting faster recovery.

“Biopect prebiotic was my other recommendation because it is an excellent tool to help animals recover from nutritional or other types of scours. Adding it to the milk provides calves with an energy boost and supports gut health.”

Within seven days on the new feeding regime, all calves had brightened considerably, and the scours had stopped.

“I have no doubt that the combination of Biopect and Sprayfo Delta helped us to keep the sick mob alive and supported a quick recovery” confirms Josh.

At 8-10 weeks, these Hereford calves were well recovered from any signs of illness, looking healthy and nicely filled out.

In fact, based on his experience last year, Josh has become a firm advocate for Sprayfo Delta. “I’m pretty pedantic about my calves, I like them to look healthy and rounded. Those reared exclusively on Sprayfo Delta were impressive, nicely filled out and very content, averaging about 72kg at 6 to 7 weeks.”

Josh ran a trial with 5 calves, using a feeding schedule developed with Cheryl. The calves were fed Sprayfo Delta twice a day for the first 2 weeks with an additional 10g/day of Biopect in the first week, then onto once a day feeding through to weaning. “These calves thrived from the start and averaged 71kg at 5 weeks” says Josh.

“This is exactly what we are aiming for” he adds. “Next season, I think we could easily achieve a weaning weight of 80kg on this regime.”

Cheryl also pushed Josh to use Stalosan F more intensively in the sheds, which he has. A powerful drying agent, Stalosan F stabilises the microflora and chemical balance in animal bedding to help create a healthy environment. Josh notes that Stalosan F is now their main biosecurity aid.

“I have been so impressed with the support from AgriVantage” Josh concludes.  “Cheryl’s advice is excellent; she follows up on her recommendations and was instrumental in helping us through a rough season.

“I haven’t experienced this level of support before and look forward to planning next season with her soon.”

Is Sprayfo Delta the right fit for your farm?

The AgriVantage products Josh uses

Sprayfo Delta CMR

Sprayfo Delta Energised Calf Milk

Our premium curding calf milk replacer for optimised growth.



An all-natural anti-scour prebiotic product which can be used as an aid in the prevention of scours.


Stalosan F

A highly effective biosecurity aid for the control of ammonia and moisture in animal housing.

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