A Guide to Off-Paddock Systems for New Zealand Dairy Farms

In the evolving landscape of dairy farming, off-paddock systems are emerging as pivotal tools for many farms. In this article, we take a look at the main types of systems available in New Zealand: compost barns, open feed pads, free stall barns, and loose-housed barns; the pros and cons of each, and which is right for your farm.

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Does Track Matting Get Slippery?

When it comes to dairy farm tracks and lanes, ensuring the safety and stability of the cows is paramount. One question that often surfaces in this realm is: “Does track matting get slippery?” While it might seem straightforward, the answer is multifaceted and hinges on the type of matting in question. Let’s delve into the specifics, focusing on three main matting options in the market: DairyGrip, Cow Carpet, and V-Grip.

DairyGrip and Cow Carpet

DairyGrip, known for its durability and groove design, is a commendable option for high-traffic areas. However, when it comes to slopes and inclined surfaces, the grooves, which are designed to provide some level of traction, can become slippery, especially when wet. This slipperiness can pose a risk to the cows, potentially leading to injuries and disruptions in cow flow.

Similarly, Cow Carpet, while being an economical and effective solution for stabilizing tracks and preventing wash away of fines after heavy rainfall, also presents a slip hazard on slopes. The material, while adept at managing track stability, does not provide the necessary grip on inclined surfaces, making it a less-than-ideal choice for such applications.

While not recommended for slopes and inclined areas, both DairyGrip and Cow Carpet can be used on flat surfaces, offering various benefits in terms of durability, stability, and cost-effectiveness.

DairyGrip is a heavy duty track mat that's great for flat surfaces.
Cow Carpet is a lightweight and economical solution for flat dairy tracks.
vgrip mat on a dairy track
V-Grip helps prevent slipping on sloped tracks.

V-Grip: A Cleat Above the Rest

In contrast, V-Grip stands out with its unique V-shaped cleat design, specifically engineered to prevent slipping, making it a preferred option for sloped areas. Unlike grooves, the cleats in V-Grip provide enhanced traction, ensuring that the cows have a stable footing, even on inclined surfaces. Furthermore, the design allows for effective water drainage, maintaining its non-slip properties even in wet conditions.

The Underlying Principle: Grooves vs. Cleats

The fundamental distinction between these matting options lies in their design: grooves versus cleats. Grooves, while providing some level of traction, have the potential to become slippery under certain conditions, such as when wet or placed on slopes. Cleats, on the other hand, offer superior grip and are specifically designed to prevent slipping, making them a safer option for inclined surfaces.

Navigating the Choices

Understanding the specific challenges and needs of your dairy track is crucial in selecting the right matting solution. While V-Grip emerges as the superior option for slopes due to its cleat design, DairyGrip and Cow Carpet may still be viable options for flat surfaces and high-traffic areas, respectively.

Always prioritize the safety and well-being of the cows, ensuring that the chosen matting provides stable and non-slip surfaces, thereby safeguarding your livestock and ensuring smooth operations on the farm.

Rubber Mats: A Solution to Lameness in Dairy Cows?

Lameness is a significant issue in the dairy farming industry, affecting both the well-being of cows and the productivity of farms. A promising solution to this challenge is the use of rubber mats. This blog post explores the causes of lameness, the potential drawbacks of traditional concrete surfaces, and the benefits of rubber mats in preventing lameness and other hoof-related issues.

The Lameness Challenge in Dairy Farming

Lameness in dairy cows is a condition often caused by claw horn lesions, digital dermatitis, or footrot. Claw horn lesions account for about 70% of all lameness cases. They develop due to excess pressure on the dermis layer of the hoof, causing bleeding or the formation of a lesion. This pressure can stem from various factors, such as muddy, stony tracks, long standing times on hard surfaces, rapid movement, and extensive daily walking distances.

Concrete Surfaces: More Harm than Good?

Concrete surfaces may be convenient for human operations, but they are particularly problematic for cows. These hard and abrasive surfaces put substantial stress on a cow’s hoof, leading to conditions like claw horn lesions, among other issues.

Rubber matting protects hooves from abrasive concrete.

The Dual Benefits of Rubber Mats in Reducing Hoof Wear

Rubber mats provide a more forgiving surface for cows, simulating the natural pasture environments that they are naturally adapted to. One significant advantage of rubber mats is their ability to reduce hoof wear in two distinct ways. First, rubber mats are less abrasive when cows are walking or turning, leading to less physical wear and tear. Second, rubber mats reduce slipping, which is particularly crucial because slipping on abrasive surfaces can lead to the thinning of the whiteline of the hoof, making it far more vulnerable to whiteline disease.

Research Supporting Rubber Mats

Research indicates that rubber mats can improve hoof and leg health, minimize physical injuries, and offer better grip than concrete, thereby reducing lameness. Studies that compared concrete and rubber floors have found that cows on concrete surfaces are at a higher risk of experiencing lameness.

Rubber Matting: A Win-Win Solution

Rubber mats are not only good for the cows but are also easier to maintain and are more durable than traditional surfaces. The return on investment can be significant, especially considering the costs associated with treating lameness and its impact on milk production, which can be as high as $1300 per case.

While rubber mats alone cannot entirely solve the lameness issue, they can be an integral part of a holistic approach to cow welfare. Alongside gentle handling, good track maintenance, a proper diet, and other factors, rubber mats can contribute significantly to the overall health and productivity of dairy farms.

For more information on the advantages of rubber matting solutions, check out our learning hub or contact us directly for personalized assistance.

DairyGrip vs Cow Carpet vs V-Grip: What’s Best For Your Dairy Track?

vgrip mat on a dairy track

Taking care of dairy tracks is a common headache for farmers. Without the right solution, maintenance costs can skyrocket, and the risk of cows slipping and becoming lame increases. Fortunately, there are several matting solutions available, each tailored to specific track scenarios. In this blog post, we’ll break down three popular options: DairyGrip, Cow Carpet, and V-Grip, to help you make an informed decision.

For Steep Sections: V-Grip

Steep sections in dairy tracks are often a nightmare for farmers. The inclined areas can become muddy slides, leading to lame cows and disrupted cow flow.

For steep, slippery sections, V-Grip is highly recommended. This rolled rubber matting features V-shaped lugs with enough space between the lugs to catch the hoof. With its free-draining grip pattern, it’s designed to allow water to run off, maintaining its effectiveness in reducing slippage even in wet conditions.

Depending on the width you need, the cost of laying a high-quality, high-grip mat like V-Grip can range from $5,000 to $14,000 per 30 meters.

Key Takeaway:
For inclined or steep areas, look for a rolled mat with high lugs, like V-Grip, to prevent slipping and maintain integrity under pressure.

vgrip mat on a dairy track
V-Grip helps prevent slipping on sloped tracks.

For High Traffic Areas: DairyGrip

High-traffic areas combined with rainfall can result in either “bony” or waterlogged, “soupy” tracks, posing challenges for both farmers and cows.

DairyGrip mats, which come in 1.8m x 30m rolls, are a premium recycled track rubber solution. With a thickness of 30mm, these mats are built to last for decades.


  • Long-term elimination of track maintenance
  • Increased cow flow and comfort
  • Decreased incidence of lameness
  • Reduces stones from being carted onto the yard

The cost to cover 30m of track with DairyGrip can range from $4,000 to $15,000, depending on the width of the rubber coverage.

DairyGrip is a heavy duty and highly durable option for tracks.

For Budget-Friendly Options: Cow Carpet

Farmers often seek economical, shorter-term options for stabilizing tracks without compromising on benefits like cow safety and reduced maintenance.

Cow Carpet, made from durable needle-punch material, comes in 6m x 30m rolls. The main function is to stabilize the soil and prevent the wash away of fines after heavy rainfall. It also reduces fine stones from being dragged onto the yard.


  • Protects track from becoming bony or mushy
  • Saves time and money on repeated track maintenance
  • Reduces stones from being dragged onto the yard.

The cost to cover 30 metres of track with Cow Carpet will be approximately $2,500 and it generally lasts between 4-6 years on a dairy track.

Cow Carpet is a lightweight and economical solution for dairy tracks.


Every dairy track presents its challenges, whether it’s steep terrains, high-traffic zones, or troublesome conditions like soupy or bony tracks. Choosing the right matting solution can improve cow flow, drastically reduce maintenance costs, and improve on-farm efficiency. Whether you opt for V-Grip for steep sections, DairyGrip for high-traffic areas, or Cow Carpet for a more budget-friendly option, the key is to align the solution with the specific needs of your dairy track.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us today.

The Evolution of the Kura Mat: Revolution in the New Zealand Dairy, Equine, and Deer Industries

The development and innovation of rubber matting solutions have been crucial for the dairy, deer, and equine sectors in New Zealand. NumatAGRI has been at the forefront of this movement for the last 25 years, with the Kura mat serving as one of our most significant surfaces. The Kura mat has found a place in the dairy, equine, and deer industries, improving both animal welfare and operational efficiency. Here’s the story behind the development of this game-changing product.

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The Beginning: Kraiburg and Initial Prototypes

Our journey began with the discovery of Kraiburg, a European company based in Germany that specializes in high-quality rubber matting for agriculture. Our initial collaboration led to the import of 12-millimeter mats. While these were well-received, we knew we could take it a step further. That’s when the Kura mat first came to NZ.

The Evolution: The Kura Mat

We advanced from the 12-millimeter mats to a more sophisticated product: the Kura mat. This mat was 24 millimeters thick and featured a studded underside for added durability and comfort. However, our innovation didn’t stop there. In the last 3 to 5 years, we made another shift—this time to the Kura 25 millimeter mat.

An addition 1mm of grip on the new Kura mat makes all the difference when it comes to grip for dairy cows, deer, and horses.

A Touch of Extra Grip

The extra millimeter added to the Kura mat was strategically placed on the surface top to provide additional grip. This feature has proven to be invaluable, especially in New Zealand’s often challenging weather conditions.

Quality Meets Sustainability

One of the standout aspects of the Kura mat is the quality of its construction. The mat is made from used quality tires that are re-vulcanized through a heat process. This not only ensures a long-lasting product but also aligns with our commitment to sustainability and resourcefulness.

Versatility: More than Just a Mat

The Kura mat’s versatility is one of its strongest suits. While initially designed for the dairy industry, the mat’s potential quickly became apparent, and it has since been adopted in the equine and deer sectors as well. Its adaptability has made it a staple in a diverse range of agricultural applications.

Get In Touch

Our catalog and product samples are available for those who want to learn more about the Kura mat. We’re more than happy to send these out to you free of charge. Alternatively, if you have specific questions or would like a more detailed discussion, feel free to call us on 0800 686 119 or email us. We are always open to talking about how the Kura mat can benefit your operations.

Does Rubber Matting Improve Cow Flow?

If you’ve been wondering if rubber matting can improve cow flow on your farm, you’re in the right place. In this article, we delve into that very question and give some straightforward answers.

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The Importance of Cow Flow

Poor cow flow leads to inefficiencies that affect not just the cows but also your bottom line. When cows are uncomfortable or stressed, they are less likely to move smoothly, and this affects their milk production and the overall performance of your farm.

Rubber Matting on Farm Tracks

When it comes to identifying cow flow issues, your tracks are a great place to start. If they are rocky, muddy, or worn out, you’ve probably noticed your cows slowing down. Adding rubber here keeps your track from deteriorating, protecting it from pugging and other forms of wear and tear. More importantly, this matting safeguards cows’ hooves from sharp stones and mud, allowing them to walk to the shed without difficulty. Products such as NumatAGRI’s ‘Cow Carpet’ and DairyGrip offer a smooth and comfortable pathway, reducing hoof stress and potential damage.

Yard and Platform Matting

Once cows arrive at the milking shed, it’s essential that the environment is conducive to stress-free milking. Rubber matting in the yard and milking platform offers a more comfortable alternative to hard concrete floors. The softer surface means that cows are more willing to stand in the yard and proceed with milking, thus improving the overall flow of animals through the milking process.

Reduced Stress, Reduced Costs

When cows aren’t being rushed or pushed, they are less likely to bunch up or compete for space on the track. This not only reduces stress on individual hooves, thereby minimizing the risk of lameness, but also speeds up the milking process. When cows move through the shed more efficiently, you save time, and time saved is money saved.

A Win-Win Solution

In summary, rubber matting offers a host of advantages that go beyond just a surface to walk on. It improves cow welfare by making the journey to the milking shed more comfortable. It ensures that the milking process is quicker and less stressful for both cows and staff. Most importantly, it leads to cost savings in the long run.

The benefits of rubber mats for your horse stable

Installing good quality rubber matting in your stables has an extensive range of benefits for you and your horses.

Rubber-stable mats can save you time and money. They are warmer, quieter and more comfortable than many other flooring surfaces. Numat’s Rubber Stable Mats are long-lasting with little maintenance required and easy to keep clean; which saves you time and reduces your bedding costs. 

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Low Maintenance Costs

Mucking out and cleaning your stables is something that needs to be done on a regular basis to keep your horses healthy and keep your stable from getting too smelly.

If you have rubber floor mats in your stables, manure, wasted feed, and soiled bedding are easily swept, shoveled, or raked up. Rubber stable mats can also be hosed down and disinfected easily. The non-porous surface will clean up nicely.

Research has also shown that non-porous, vulcanized-sealed rubber surfaces, like Numat’s Kura mats, have lower microbial counts than concrete.

Reduced Bedding Costs

If you have nice thick rubber stable mats, you can reduce or perhaps eliminate the need to use any extra bedding for your horses at all.

Your horses will be quite comfortable laying on the soft warm rubber surface. Some absorbent bedding might be all you need to soak up urine if you don’t have enough drainage/slope on your flooring for it to run off.

Horse rubber mats require an initial investment, but they pay themselves back with the money saved on buying other forms of bedding, and the time saved on labour.

Horse Comfort

Rubber stable flooring has great insulating properties and is, therefore, warmer and quieter than many other flooring options.  Thick rubber mats will also absorb almost all sounds made by your horse’s feet moving on the ground.

Your horses will enjoy a warmer, quieter stable. Many of our customers have noticed improvements in their horses’ behaviour since installing our rubber stable mats. 

Animal Health

Rubber stable matting will reduce the risk of falls and injuries, increase impact absorption, and improve tendon and joint health.

Stall floors must be durable but they also play an important role in the overall health of your horses. Leg soundness, circulation and fatigue are affected by the flooring material, with soft floor surfaces generally being preferred over hard floors. The problem with many soft flooring surfaces such as dirt or sand is that it is high maintenance and will need levelling and resurfacing on a regular basis.

There are many different types of rubber stable mats available. The various thicknesses and designs will have different effects on the impact absorption, padding and insulation properties of the matting. For the best impact absorption and joint health Numat recommend using Kura Interlocking Mats. This product is very hard to wear and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

Safer, Anti-Slip Surface

Horses often slip and struggle when getting up from a concrete-floored stable, despite the layer of bedding which is easily scraped through. Rubber mats give a similar grip as a horse would have on the ground outdoors in a more natural circumstance.

It is important to choose a product that has a grippy surface such as Kura which has a durable grippy surface that provides maximum traction reducing slipping and fall injuries.