Weekly Notes - 2nd September 2021

Key decisions this week:

• Due to the weather our pasture utilisation has dropped but we continue to select paddocks based on ground conditions and try different techniques to minimise pasture damage. Even with the use of supplements to hold our round we have still used 3.5-5.4 ha more per farmlet and 18ha more across the whole farm than the spring rotation plan.

• Next week’s springer draft will most likely result in kale and FB springer mobs joining together. We need to continue feeding them DCP so that the FB cows in the mob have their mineral requirements met.

• The late fodder beet dries will finish on crop at the springer draft next week as we will be below 30 animals in this mob. They will join the late kale cows on pasture and baleage until they are merged with the springers.

• With the delay in the fodder beet harvester being available we made the decision to try lifting beet with the beet bucket so we can feed this to the milkers instead of extra baleage. We managed to get some lifted on Friday so have started feeding to the milkers.

• Beet will be offered at 1 kg DM/cow/day for 2 days and increase by 0.5 kg DM every 2 days to a maximum of 2 kg DM to reduce the risk of acidosis for new cows entering the mob from the colostrums. It will be fed out in advance in the second and 4th breaks in the paddock so the cows can be held in the previous break until they are all back from milking and can be let over as a group.

• When checking the condition of the fodder beet paddocks yesterday we noted that some of the plants are starting to bolt so we will need to be getting everything harvested and off the paddock as soon as the conditions improve.

• We have noticed a couple more metabolic issues occurring and looking back on previous seasons this appears to be a reoccurring theme for us as we enter the latter stages of calving (late Sept/ early Oct). We think this is due to fatter cows coming off crop so the team is being vigilant in making sure all the mobs are receiving the required mineral supplements.

• Our kale dries have now been removed off crop and onto pasture & baleage. There was quite a bit of kale residual left in the final grazings but due to the woodiness and low quality of the stalks we did not want to push them to eat it and underfed them.

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