Weekly Notes - 3rd June 2021

Cows are now all well settled onto crops but the fodder beet animals are still transitioning to their final winter allocation. We now have 12 wintering mobs across the farm so the farm team are definitely keeping busy. Once the fodder beet cows are fully transitioned life will be a little easier as we are currently adding additional baleage to these mobs each day.

Key decisions for this week:

• Pasture walks and weekly meetings with notes will now be fortnightly

• 2 mobs were moved from their existing paddock during the week due to wet conditions underfoot. Unfortunately, in both paddocks the wetness was compounded by portable water trough issues!

• After discussions around our Plan B at last week’s meeting Charlie purchased 30 bales of wheat straw. This will be rolled out when paddock conditions become saturated and muddy to provide a drier lying surface. Due to limited Plan B options, we hope this will be a successful alternative option.

• We have been feeding out more baleage than predicted due to wet weather and lower crop utilisation. With the fodder beet cows still in the transition phase it is important that they do not get hungry and start testing the fence and pushing standards.

• The kale cows have been utilising their crop well but as we get further into winter and the quality of the kale begins to drop off we need to make sure we don’t push these animals too hard to clean up. This was a key learning we took away from last season as it began to impact BCS.

• The last of our culls (x14) will finally be leaving this week! We will get liver biopsies taken from them and report back on the results.

• Kale yields on the support block are less than budgeted so the decision was made to increase the proportion of baleage in the diet for at least the next 2 weeks to ensure we have a sufficient crop to get through to the 10th of August. Another crop yield is due in the next 2 weeks so this will help with decision-making.

• With one clinical case of acidosis in the R1’s this week we have reduced the amount of beet being offered and will slow down the transition to their full allocation

• Next week the Science tech team will do crop measurements for all crop paddocks. It’s a big job but gives a good indicator of how fast the crops have grown and what is actually in paddock to assure accurate crop allocations.

• Next week Wednesday we should have the FB cows fully transitioned onto FB.

• The R1’s will be brought in and weighed next week.

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