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Weekly Notes - 28th July 2021

What a difference a couple of days of sunshine and a bit of wind makes. Crop paddocks at SDH have dried out and the pasture paddocks have firmed up. It is nice to see good growth rates this fortnight, putting all the farmlets in a good position for the start of the season.

The farmer reference group met this week to discuss the farm systems modelling that has been completed to help determine the farm systems comparisons for the 2022-23 season (see table attached)

Key decisions this week include:

• increasing the kale allocation for all the mobs back to approximately 12 kg DM/cow to reduce the need for extra baleage.

• consolidating our mobs on crops after the springer draft next Tuesday. Each herd will have a mid-calving crop mob and then the latest for each crop type e.g kale or fodder beet will be consolidated into 1 herd giving us 3 cow mobs and 1 R2 mob for each crop type.

• Booking the kale R1’s in to head off farm to grazing on the 16th of August just after the kale crop runs out. Fodder beet R1’s will remain on crop until the end of August as they still have crop remaining.

• assessing the remaining fodder beet area on farm with the likely outcome that some will be lifted and sold as it is surplus to requirement. Yields were up 15% on last year which has contributed to the surplus. Beet for milking supplement to the Std and LI FB herds will be lifted and stored when conditions are right.

• reassess beet allocation based on recent yield estimates. The proportion of leaf has declined significantly during winter and is now averaging 18% across the last 5 paddocks that were yielded. The range is 13 to 25% between paddocks.

• selecting our first 4 colostrum paddocks (one from each farmlet)

• Select the first 4 milker paddocks. I

• Completing the spring rotation plans and spring feed budgets using the farm walk information from this week and predicted calving dates.

• ‘Spare’ bales from crop paddocks will be used to top up the springer diets if pre-graze mass is below that required to achieve 5 kg DM/cow in the 20 sq m per cow that is being allocated.

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