Was interesting to see the effect of the rain and cold temperatures last Saturday on the water intake of the herds. More than 50% of the cows with the Smaxtec boli in them alerted for low water intake.
Key Decisions this week:
• Over the next week the farm team has been challenged with being aggressive when it comes to taking paddocks out of the round if they are above the pre-graze targets to ensure that the round length remains at 25 days.
• Due to the stem elongation and seedhead emergence over the last few weeks, we are having some challenges with our plate meter readings. Lignification in the stem is holding the plate up and suggesting there is more feed in the paddocks than is available for the cows to consume and that our residuals are too high. We will continue to use a combination of plate and visual estimates and pasture appearance in developing the weekly feed plan.
• Supplement will be added back into all 4 farmlets this week, with 1kg of inshed feed being offered to the Kale herds and 1kg of FB being offered to the FB herds in the paddock. This provides some buffer in the system to step over paddocks that are above target and are poor quality and will ensure that the cows are getting access to high-quality feed to keep milk production constant.
• It was decided to stay at a 25-day rotation as any longer and the pre-graze covers are too high and any shorter, we may run into issues pushing the round back out again as we move closer to summer and grass growth begins to slow down.
• Strategic topping will again be used this week as a method of controlling quality. In a number of paddocks, the base residual has been left too high, therefore topping is required to reset the paddock for the next round.
• This week the contractors have been in doing the groundwork for next winter's fodderbeet paddocks. We have had a buffer zone left at each end of the paddock as a break-out area to be used as a plan B option in periods of adverse weather. These will be planted in Italian ryegrass and harvested for baleage through until autumn.
• AI has been tracking well overall, with between 81 and 92% of cows submitted across the herds and 2 days left to go until 3 weeks.
• 26 cows with CIDR’s have had these removed this week and will be AI’d on Sunday after receiving a PG shot on Saturday afternoon.
• We ended up with a section of bolters around some baleage remaining in the fodder beet paddock that was lifted for spring feeding. While not going back into fodder beet for next year it was important these were removed before the seed dropped and contaminated the soil for any future fodder beet crops in this paddock. The LI FB herd got an after-milking snack of the bulbs from these plants.
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