Key decisions this week:
• The team have been tasked with being proactive with dropping paddocks out of the round that are above the pre-graze target for 3 feeds.
o Why: this is to regain full control over pasture quality in the coming week before heading into summer.
• The visual and plate meter data are much more aligned this week, indicating that the lignification in the stem is not as prominent as in previous weeks.
o Why: we asked the contractor to adjust the height of the mower for the silage paddocks to remove more of the stem in the base of the sward and promote higher-quality pasture in the regrowth.
• All farmlets will continue to receive supplementary feed this week at the same levels as last week (1kg of FB for the Fodder beet farmlets and 1kg of inshed feed for the Kale farmlets).
o By keeping this feed in, the cows can go into lower covers which should in turn mean that paddocks are able to hold the quality better as the return time to the paddock will be less.
• Topping will be continued this week behind the cows in paddocks that require it, this will continue to be in the “racetrack” method (mowing the outside few laps of the paddock). The same criteria for topping will be used i.e. any paddocks with large clumps, significant seedhead and a high base residual.
• N Fertiliser will be increased for the standard farmlets as we move into the 4th round. Until now, N has gone on behind the cows at 25kg N/ha and for this round, it will be increased to 35 kgN/ha.
• The second application of N fertiliser will start this week for the lower-impact farmlets at a rate of 15kgN/ha. This is a week earlier than last year.
o Why: Both low-impact farmlets are getting tight on feed due to growth rates dropping to between 41-45kgDM/ha/day. This N application will also help with encourage tillering and hopefully reduce seedhead emergence.
• All new grass paddocks have now been sown, as well as the Italian ryegrass buffer zones in the crop paddocks for next winter.
• Swedes and kale are not yet drilled as we wait for the precision drill to arrive. This is due to go in within the next week.
• We are now in week 5 of mating, with just under 10 days of AI to go. 97% of the total herd has now been put up for AI, however, there is still a gap between the Kale and the FB herds.
• There are now only 12 calves left on milk as a result of weaning this week. The average weight of the 72 calves weaned was 96.1kg which equates to an average daily weight gain from the birth of 0.7kg/day.
• The calves are currently split into 2 weight ranges, there are 120 weighing between 120-135kg and 72 calves between 85-105kg. The bigger calves were drenched with “Turbo” this week and the remaining calves were drenched with “Arrest C” as part of the regular drenching programme.
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