Weekly Farm Summary

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

  

Business Area Current Status
Feed Growth rates still only half feed budgeted values. Rotation length stable at 40-42 days across farmlets; similar supplement requirements for the next week; APC holding at current feeding levels; will start feeding fodder beet to Std & LI FB herds
Milk Production Cows have responded to increased supplementary feeding over the last week except for the LI FB that have struggled grazing through some of their persistently poorer paddocks in their farmlet. Moving to OAD milking for all herds
People Team managing well with the complexities of grazing management and the volume of supplementary feeding now and staying positive under trying farming conditions; Performance assessments complete for this round
Animals Periods of heat stress again this week has impacted on feed intake during the day; still managing to clean up in paddock supplement overnight. Johnes results back from herd test so will do confirmation blood tests
Environment No nitrogen fertiliser as conditions too dry; targeting effluent to paddocks with lower applications season to date; effluent pond at 34% capacity
Wintering March crop yields are being completed; with paddocks completed to date fodder beet is averaging 15.9 T DM/ha; kale 9.2 T DM/ha and swedes 12.5 T DM/ha
Research Getting close to having initial design concepts for the on farm infrastructure and working through siting options for convenient implementation while avoiding current underground services around the dairy

Cows & Milk Analysis

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

Pasture Quality Limited options for influencing pasture quality under the current dry conditions.

Nearly finished the lucerne baleage but have swapped out some of our winter italian baleage made on farm for poorer quality farmlet baleage.

Many areas within paddocks are struggling from the prolonged dry conditions; large urine patches
Growth rate Management Residuals have lifted with the increase in supplementary feeding.

Supplement will continue to be fed out across the whole paddock ahead of grazing with additional supplement added if required at each grazing
Nitrogen Strategy N applications remain on hold. A strategy is being worked on to ensure that the LI farmlets get their total allocation before the 10th of April and the Std farmlets get as close to their allocation as possible.

Relative to the autumn feed budgets the Std herds have fed more total supplement than budgeted (Std kale 32%; Std FB 80%) while the LI herds have fed less than budgeted (LI kale 0.5%; LI FB 20%)
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
Quantity Growth only 39% of demand Growth only 38% of demand Growth only 46% of demand Growth only 56% of demand
Quality New grasses holding quality, others very dry New grasses holding quality, others very dry New grasses holding quality, others very dry New grasses holding quality, others very dry
Surplus Management None None None None
Deficit Management 4.0kg inshed (down 1kg from last week)
3.6kg DM baleage
3.0kg inshed (up 0.8 from last week)
2.3kg DM baleage
3.0kg inshed (up 0.8 from last week)
Baleage 3.3kg/cow/day
3.0kg inshed (up 1.0 from last week)
Baleage 2.3kg/cow/day
Rotation Length 42 Days 40 Days 42 Days 40 days

Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production Made the decision to move all herds to OAD milking this week to preserve body condition.

Even if we get rain next week it will be at least 3 weeks before we have full pasture response.

At current level of production we don't expect much affect on milk production.
Key influences on milk production Total energy intake is likely the biggest contributor to milk production this week.

Move to OAD milking will require a revision of supplementary feeding with less able to be consumed in at the milking even when reducing platform speed.

FB herds will start grazing beet next week to reduce the amount of PKE offered; will lift initially to open up the paddock but then graze a paddock close to the herd
Cow Management Light BCS, early calving cows continue to receive priority feeding inshed at milking.

Have a handful of cull cows who will not cope well with OAD milking so will look to exit these ASAP.

Likely to dry off the first round of at risk cows in the next couple of weeks
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
kg Milksolids per cow this week / (last week) 1.53 / (1.52) 1.48 / (1.48) 1.49 / (1.37) 1.34 / (1.36)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 1088/ (1103) 953 / (893) 1015 / (1051) 896 / (863)
Season to date compared to last year Down 3.6% total milk
Half paddock extra in grass this year affects KPI
Up 4.5% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Down 5.7% total milk Up 2.2% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Cows needing OAD BCS<4 (% herd) 40 cows (24%) 30 cows (22%) 12 cows (7%) 20 cows (15%)
Animal health peculiarities None None None None

Wintering

Crop yielding to inform winter feed budgets Setting up for winter is going to be crucial under the current climatic conditions and pressure on supplementary feed so the more we know about our crops now and their potential crop yields the better we can plan.

To update our winter feed budgets crop yield assessments have commenced on all paddocks across the farm. This information has been compared to yields at the same time in the last 3 seasons to see how we are tracking (Table below)

Based on current yields and limits to the amount of PKE the fodder beet herds can consume during milking we have decided to start feeding our some of our autumn fodder beet allocation. We will forego yield in this area but at only 1-1.5 kg DM/cow/day this will not impact significantly on the feed budget.

Another cut of baleage was made this week from the Italian paddocks that we will be wintering on

Table 1: Comparison of March crop yields for the last four seasons




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


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%.

NB: Hatched bars are new grass paddocks being grazed on a faster return interval to maintain quality