Weekly Farm Summary

Farm-system impacts of: Kalve vs Fodder beet for winter AND reducing N loss to water by 30%. 

Cows & Milk Analysis

Business Area Current Status
Feed Currently in a unique feed situation. Using dry cows to follow milkers in paddocks where residual has not been achieved. Heifers to return to platform this week to pull the APC down as growth continues at or above demand for the milkers. Aeration continuing in compacted paddocks as determined from visual soil assessment
Milk Production Both pasture quality and quantity seem to be driving the huge fluctuations in production over the past week. Possible energy deficit particularly in both Kale herds, however production dropping across the entire farm.
People Team outing on Friday to thank the team and celebrate achievements from a very challenging season. Priority now is shifting baleage & setting up paddocks for winter.
Animals All culls now identified, 50 still on farm. Minimal lameness relative to May last year which we attribute to OAD milking and dry weather conditions. Three empty cows identified on herd test milk sample & confirmed by the vet; Calves now 228 kg with ADG of 0.78 kg/day since the last weigh, heaviest 303 kg and lightest 164 kg
Environment Soil temperatures still sitting at 13 degrees compared with 7 degrees this time last season so effluent continues to be applied. Pond level sitting at 35%.
Wintering Last of the winter baleage arriving this week. Paddock plans almost complete
Research Final herd test of the season completed this week, the 18th herd test for the year!

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

Feed Quality & Quantity Will increase inshed feeding for the kale herds to lift overall feed quality as milk productions suggests energy is limited. Pushing intakes as high as we can for the milkers and will use the dry cows in paddocks to correct any high residuals.
Growth rate Management Currently the farm is growing more than expected so APC higher than feed budget targets for all herds. Utilizing all available mobs (dry cows, milkers and heifers) to manage pasture so APC at 1st June is at targeted levels. Fine balance between dry cows putting on weight and residuals being achieved. In some instances supplements will be increased to milkers to ensure sufficient residuals to achieve weight gain in the dry cows.
Nitrogen Strategy Effluent applications are being reviewed weekly, however at current soil temperatures and moisture levels we will continue with applications until conditions change.
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
Quantity APC 2276 APC 2119 APC 2347 APC 2232
Quality Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Surplus Management Residuals tidied up by dry cows
Heifers to increase demand
Residuals tidied up by dry cows
Heifers to increase demand
Residuals tidied up by dry cows
Heifers to increase demand
Residuals tidied up by dry cows
Heifers to increase demand
Deficit Management 1.5kg inshed 1.5kg inshed 0.8kg inshed
1.2kg FB
0.8kg inshed
1.2kg FB
Rotation Length 39 Days 38 Days 44 Days 38 Days

Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production Milk production has declined this week as we approach the end of the season. 12 milkings to go!

Last herd test of the year completed this week with 5 cows having a SCC over 1 million

Both low impact herds are slightly above last years production whilst the Std FB herd continues to be the furthest back, down 5.9% on the same time last season.
Key influences on milk production Supplements increasing for both Kale herds, will hopefully result in milk production holding for the next 2 weeks until dry off.

Fluctuations in milk production mainly driven by individual paddock quality but a couple of paddocks this week where quantity was an issue based on residuals.
Cow Management All cows condition scored this week, allowing us to track BCS gain in dry cows.

Individual animals may be dried off before full herd dry off based on milk yield, SCC, lameness or mastitis risk.
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
kg Milksolids per cow this week / (last week) 1.18 / (1.28) 1.19 / (1.20) 1.15 / (1.25) 1.13 / (1.18)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 1257 / (1295) 1082 / (1064) 1171 / (1244) 1029 / (1025)
Season to date compared to last year Down 2.9% total milk Up 1.7% total milk Down 5.9% total milk Up 1.7% total milk
Cows needing OAD BCS<4 (% herd) 36 cows (19% of herd) 38 cows (28% of herd) 20 cows (12% of herd) 24 cows (10% of herd)
Animal health peculiarities None None None None

Wintering

Policy Update The revised wintering rules for Essential Fresh Water have recently been released following industry consultation and feedback. While the rules only apply to Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) i.e. grazing of forage crops between 1 May and 31st September in the same year, many of the principles also apply to pasture base wintering. Key requirements include:

Paddocks must be re-sown as soon as conditions allow, instead of by a fixed date

Pugging depth rules removed and replaced with requirement that farmers take all steps possible to minimise the effects of pugging on fresh water

Farmers must protect critical source areas, by not cultivating or planting in crop or grazing them from May to September.

Farmers who carry out winter grazing on land with slopes over 10 degrees will either require a resource consent or include management of these areas in their certitifed freshwater farm plan once they are available.


While these regulations don't become operative until November 2022 this winter provides an opportunity to get systems and processes in place to ensure you are well set up for winter 2023
SDH wintering plans In preparing for winter 2023 we are reassessing our wintering plans in light of the impending regulations. Having robust paddock plans in place this winter will provide a good platform for next winter when it is a regulatory requirement.

Below is an example of our paddock plan. Items detailed are

bales/ day and total paddock bale requirements
daily break length and paddock dimensions
Group name, mob size etc

By detailing grazing direction, fence location, transition areas etc the farm team are able to have clear visability on plans for each paddock reducing the risk of confusion through the winter and increasing the chance of success.

Check out www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/crops/wintering for the winter paddock plan template.




Farm system impacts: of Kale vs Fodder beet for winter AND Reducing N loss to water by 30%.
Kale, Winters on kale - in-shed feed available. Fodder beet, winters on Beet, Beet as lactation supp. Low impact (LI) limited Max 50kg N/ha/year vs Std 193kg N/ha/year


Farm system impacts: of Kale vs Fodder beet for winter AND Reducing N loss to water by 30%.
Kale, Winters on kale - in-shed feed available. Fodder beet, winters on Beet, Beet as lactation supp. Low impact (LI) limited Max 50kg N/ha/year vs Std 193kg N/ha/year


Farm system impacts: of Kale vs Fodder beet for winter AND Reducing N loss to water by 30%.
Kale, Winters on kale - in-shed feed available. Fodder beet, winters on Beet, Beet as lactation supp. Low impact (LI) limited Max 50kg N/ha/year vs Std 193kg N/ha/year

Figure 1: Bales laid out in an Italian paddock being used for baleage wintering

Figure 2: Paddock post aeration

Figure 3: Body Condition Score distribution for each herd

Farm-system impacts of: Kale vs Fodder beet for winter
AND Reducing N loss to water by 30%.