• In the interest of preserving BCS and feeding the cows as best as we can with current feed resources, we have decided to put all the herds onto 10n7 milkings for a period of approximately 3 weeks until pasture cover and the weather improves allowing us to look forward into the future and match feed supply and demand.
• All alternative milking frequencies were considered i.e. full OAD, 3 in 2 and more traditional 10n7 however we have settled on a modified 10 milkings in 7 days with cows being milked TAD at 5 am and 2.15 pm Mon, Wed and Fri, OAD on Tues and Thu at 10 am and OAD Sat at 10 am and Sun at 7 am
• With different milking intervals and inshed feeding requirements we have had to create a milking management chart to help with the implementation of the plan (Figure 1).
• We will hold the current rotation length of approx. 30 days as speeding up now increase the risk of being in an even bigger hole in 3 weeks' time if growth continues to be erratic. To do this we will require additional supplements.
• To ensure consistency of pasture allocation with different periods of time between milking we have had to expand the grazing plan template (Figure 2).
• FB has finished being lifted and we have already sold 90t wet weight. We will increase our FB allocation from 2.5 to 3.5kg/cow/day
• As an extra source of feed we will revisit some springer paddocks with the milkers to nip off regrowth.
• We continue to follow cows on the Std farmlet with N fertiliser applied via helicopter. Conditions are too wet for truck applications but with soil temperature at 10.6oC this meets the conditions for application and pasture response.
• We have managed to source 80 bales of milking quality baleage which will be a good buffer going forward
• Although the weather has been unfavourable weather we have still been observing strong cycles in the cows with heavy heat. We will start recording pre-mating heat from the 9th of October.
• We are pleased that our APC is higher than our original feed budget as at 1900 APC there would be a lot more supplements required to meet demand under the current conditions. This season has highlighted that while it is good to get the farm chewed out in the first rotation there need to be contingency plans for when pasture growth does not kick off in the spring. We will definitely be taking this year's learnings into planning for next spring.
• The 45 calves sent to the support block have adjusted well and are enjoying their tent shelter. We lay down some straw to reduce mud in the tent
• Our next round of metrichecking will be booked for the 9th of November.
• Some cows have been scratching and losing hair so we are investigating options to treat for lice.
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