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 With growth rates higher than anticipated for this time of the year, from today milkers will spend 24 hours in approx. 70% of the paddock with dry mobs, heifers and culls grazing the remainder. Aim to get APC for all farmlets as close as possible to 1900 by mid next week.
Milk Production The Kale herds currently have a higher volume than the fodder beet herds but milk solids production is similar across them all. SCC expected to drop from 200,000 average with the removal of several high SCC cows going as culls.
People End of season celebrations for the team last week. Periods of annual leave booked for the team throughout June and July.
Animals All R2’s were teat sealed this week and are now on the platform. R1’s weighed, drenched, vaccinated etc this week. Average weight 227kg. Cow count for auditing purposes occurring on Friday. Milkers to be dried off 23rd and 24th May. Working through herd size changes and reallocating some animals to new herds for 2022-23.
Environment Soil temperatures continue to stay above 10 degrees (12.0), significantly higher than this time last year, although cold wet conditions are predicted for the next week.
Wintering Pre-winter crop yields to be completed next week before cows are put on crop. The remaining grass and baleage paddocks are nearing completion of set up.
Research Calibration cuts completed this week. Nicole and Tash have been busy this week with research trials and projects based around the region i.e., plantain measurements in the Oteramika Catchment.

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

Feed Quality & Quantity Cow grazing behaviour accompanied with APC and pre-grze masses would suggest that there is more grass than currently showing through measurements. Calibration cuts completed this week will confirm this.
Growth rate Management For the remainder of the milking season, the daily area allocation for the milkers will be increased. Residuals of 2100-2200 plus a break of new grass are being left for dry cows and heifers to clean up. Dry cow allocation is targeted at achieving BCS gain. If we are to hit our end of season APC of 1900 we currently need to remove 300-350kgDM/ha from the standard farmlets and 150-200 kgDM/ha from the low impact farmlets.
Nitrogen Strategy Effluent applciations will continue until milking ceases for the season. Ground conditions are still allowing for efficient application of effluent.
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
Quantity APC 2245 APC 2067 APC 2260 APC 2122
Quality DM% decreasing DM% decreasing DM% decreasing DM% decreasing
Surplus Management 24 hour grazing with residuals tidied up by non milkers 24 hour grazing with residuals tidied up by non milkers 24 hour grazing with residuals tidied up by non milkers 24 hour grazing with residuals tidied up by non milkers
Deficit Management 0.9kg inshed 0.3kg inshed 0.8kg inshed
1.2 kg FB
0.7kg inshed
1.2 kg FB
Rotation Length 39 Days 38 Days 44 Days 38 Days

Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production Milk production is now secondary to setting the farm up for next season. Pasture will comprise the majority of the diet for all herds. Season to date both LI herds have produced more on a MS/ha basis however this is due to an a reduction in milking platform area for these herds this season.
Key influences on milk production Stage of lactation is having the biggest impact on milk production now. SCC sitting higher at this end of the season due to OAD milking.
Cow Management One more full herd BCS to be completed next week at dry off to establish wintering mobs.

Currently there are 8 mobs on the platform, 4 herds of milkers, 2 herds of dry cows, heifers and cull cows.
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 / (1.18) 1.14 / (1.19) 1.14 / (1.15) 1.14 / (1.13)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 1275 / (1308) 1094 / (1073) 1189 / (1259) 1044 / (1038)
Season to date compared to last year Down 0.1% total milk Up 1.7% total milk Down 5.9% total milk Up 0.4% total milk
Cows needing OAD BCS<4 (% herd) 24 cows 24 cows 31 cows 20 cows
Animal health peculiarities None None None None

Feeding

Below is the grazing plan for the next week. As we head towards dry off, and with higher-than-expected APC for this time of the season, the feeding situation becomes more complex with more herds to manage. Grazing plan decisions this week considered:

  1. Current and target APC for each herd
  2. Intake requirements for each class of livestock 
  3. Individual paddock conditions e.g. New grass, undersown, aerated, location on the farm
  4. Mob sizes
  5. Pre-graze mass
  6. Dry off date

 

Click to expand graph



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: Heifers getting their teat seal this week

 

Figure 2: Team after the completion of an Escape Room at last weeks end of season celebration

 

 

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