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 Still a deficit in average pasture cover for a full pasture diet with at or above demand for all herds this week. Supplementary feeding will continue.
Milk Production Seeing a lift in production when herds are grazing new grass paddocks, suggesting there are still some protein and quality challenges in some paddocks.
People Covid-19 policy completed and operational to minimise the risk to all staff
Animals 39 in milk culls went on Monday. With the recheck scan being completed today, more in milk culls and works culls will go over the weekend. Lameness in FB herds has decreased since in-shed feed started, probably due to better cow flow to and through the shed.
Environment Effluent still not being applied due to low pond levels
Wintering Buffer strips to have second cut of baleage taken off within the week. Some aphids observed on fodder beet crop at the support block.
Research Botanical dissections nearing completion; other activities business as usual

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

Pasture Quality Quality is increasing as paddocks mown in the last round come back with more leaf and less seedhead. The milk production response we are seeing when herds graze new grass paddocks and the urine patch clumping in many older paddocks suggests pasture protein levels are still low.
Growth rate Management Rain over the last few weeks, combined with dewey mornings have aided growth, but a deficit still remains for all herds.

Still aiming to push out to 33 days, some paddocks will need 2 and half grazings to achieve this.

We expect to see growth continue to lift as a result of the N and moisture in the system.
Nitrogen Strategy N applications resumed this week ahead of the rain that fell over the weekend. The dewey mornings will also help ensure N utilization continues as the 5th round is completed and 6th round starts for the standard farmlets. Last application for LI farmlets will start in early March.

The standard farmlets remaining N applications will be closely monitored to stay under the 190kg cap.
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
Quantity Growth at demand Growth 12% above demand. Growth 6% above demand Growth 37% above demand.
Quality No long paddocks, hitting residuals well No long paddocks, hitting residuals well No long paddocks, hitting residuals well No long paddocks, hitting residuals well
Surplus Management None None None None
Deficit Management 3.5kg inshed (dropped 1kg from last week)
Baleage only if required
4.0kg inshed (same last week, may drop to 3.5) 3.0kg inshed (down from last week)
Baleage 1.2 kg/cow/day
1.0kg inshed (down 3.0kg from last week)
Baleage 1.5kg/cow/day
Rotation Length Extend rotation to 33 days Extend rotation to 33 days Extend rotation to 33 days Extend rotation to 33 days


Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production Milk Production continues to fluctuate between 1.5 and 1.7 kg MS/cow this week for all 4 herds.
We are still seeing improvements in milk prooduction when the cows are moving through new grass paddocks.
Have reduced the proportion of in shed feed in the diet as confidence in grass growth lifts. Will be assessing residuals daily to ensure the supplement amount is correct and milk production isn't compromised.
Key influences on milk production Pasture quality and proportion of pasture in the diet has had a direct impact on milk production this week.

The gap between fodder beet and kale herds has reduced as the proportion of pasture in the diet increases through reduced demand from culling 5-6% from all herds.
Cow Management Cow Management Rules:
1: Cows with BCS below 4.0 are on OAD but still in their herds
2: Based on age and calving date we are now managing BCS towards pre-calving targets. This will see cows at BCS 4.0 or even 4.5 needing OAD to ensure they hit 5.0 or 5.5 (Rising 3yr) at calving.
3: Any cull cows producing less than 5 litres per day will be identified and culled ASAP
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
kg Milksolids per cow this week / (last week) 1.65 / (1.65) 1.71 / (1.73) 1.56 / (1.58) 1.60 / (1.61)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 972 / (992) 860 / (803) 909 / (949) 813 / (782)
Season to date compared to last year Down 2.1% total milk
Half paddock extra in grass this year affects KPI
Up 7.1% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Down 4.2% total milk Up 4.0% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Cows needing OAD BCS<4 (% herd) 30 cows (16%) 25 cows (17%) 33 cows (18%) 13 cows (8%)
Animal health peculiarities None None Less lameness Less lameness


PEOPLE

COVID-19 With Covid now being wide-spread throughout the community a Covid-19 response policy has been created to help minimize the risks to SDH staff, farmers, contractors, consultants and any other visitors associated with SDH. The policy outlines principle controls such as prevention measures like red zone areas where only vaccinated people may enter, getting the Covid-19 vaccine, testing requirements etc.

It also outlines the current obligations to suppliers such as Fonterra so the whole farm and support staff team are aware of the protocols and procedures required if Covid is present on farm.
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 2021 new grass paddocks being managed on a faster rotation

NB: …….. target line is for 18 kg DM pasture allocation at current rotation and stocking rate for each herd; 

– – – – – target line is for 13 kg DM pasture allocation

 

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

Figure 1: Comparison of grazing residual colour between old (left) and new grass (right) paddocks