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 All cows are now dried off and the majority are transitioning onto their winter diet - either FB, swedes, kale, or baleage/grass. APC at dry off was around 100kgDM/ha higher than target. Ground conditions this week were too wet to graze the last couple of paddocks at the top of each wedge.
Milk Production The cold, wet snap of weather played havoc with our last week of milk production. FB herds were dried off on Monday and Kale cows dried off Tuesday.
People Big shout out to the SDH farm team who have handled a complex season very well. Final winter prep being done by the team this week.
Animals 10 culls sent this week, with 39 remaining on farm. R2’s measured, vaccinated, drenched, collared, bloods taken this week. Average weight of 385 kg and height is very similar to our current R3’s so they are well grown. 1 down cow in the kale herd just after dry-off. P supplementation of FB cows and other minerals via dosatron.
Environment Soil moisture levels lifted this week with 58mm rainfall in the last 7 days. Effluent pond levels lifted to 48%. Effluent applications paused however may resume if soil temps stay high and soil moisture reduces again.
Wintering MA cows now all on crop or grass & baleage. Transitioning occurring over the next week onto FB, kale, and swedes.
Research Nicole and Tash have been busy taking end of season measurements of animals and crops. R2 measured (length, height & girth), bloods taken, crop yields completed.

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

Feed Quality & Quantity Pasture quality samples have halted for the winter. There have been a few paddocks left with untdy residuals this week which may impact on pasture quality at the start of next season but overall we are happy with where the season has ended.
Growth rate Management APC for all farmlets apart from the LI Kales finished higher than the target at dry off as seen below. If low growth through the winter doesn't rectify this, the level of supplements will be altered in the first round to reset residual for the remainder of the season.
Nitrogen Strategy Effluent applications may resume over the coming days if soil moisture levels reduce to a comfortable level. If not, N applications won't start again until soil temperatures are above 7 deg C and rising in spring - likely late August/early September
Standard
Kale
Pink
Low Impact
Kale
Blue
Standard
Fodder beet
Green
Low Impact
Fodder beet
Yellow
Quantity APC excluding springer paddocks: 2075 APC excluding springer paddocks: 1890 APC excluding springer paddocks: 2084 APC excluding springer paddocks: 2043
Quality DM% is decreasing DM% is decreasing DM% is decreasing DM% is decreasing
Surplus Management Too wet for cleaning up paddocks for now Too wet for cleaning up paddocks for now Too wet for cleaning up paddocks for now Too wet for cleaning up paddocks for now
Deficit Management 0.9 kg inshed 0.3kg inshed 0.8kg inshed
1.2 kg FB
0.7 kg inshed
1.2 kg FB
Rotation Length NA NA NA NA

Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production Milk production finished 3% down on last season, however considering the season this is better than expected. Although this has come at significant cost to the business.The Std Kale herd have produced 85kgMS/ha higher than any previous year, whilst the other 3 herds have succumbed to the wet spring and dry autumn.
Key influences on milk production With the range of wet and cold weather over the past week, the milk supply fluctuated signifcantly as a result.
Cow Management Cow management in the last week has focused on preparing animals for drying off and transitioning onto their winter diets. The 10 cull cows selected to go were the highest SCC animals. Remaining culls have been dried off and are being offered predominantly baleage with a small amount of pasture.
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) 1.07 / (1.14) 1.11 / (1.14) 1.12 / (1.14)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 1286 / (1316) 1103 / (1080) 1198 / (1269) 1053 / (1047)
Season to date compared to last year Up 0.2% total milk Down 2.3% total milk Down 5.1% total milk Down 3.6% total milk
Cows needing OAD BCS<4 (% herd) 29 cows 25 cows 33 cows 22 cows
Animal health peculiarities None None None None

Wintering

Transitioning onto Crop As the cows are moving onto their winter diest, to avoid any risk of acidosis or nutritional upsets from the brassica's we are following industry guidelines to transition the cows onto crop.

Cows on Brassicas - Starting on 3kgs DM/cow/day and increasing 1kg a day up to target crop intake.

Cows of Fodder Beet - If cows have not been milking off FB, start with 2kg DM/cow/day and increase by 0.5kg DM/day (or 1kg DMevery second day). To achieve the required protein and mineral intakes it is suggested that FB makes up no more than 70% of the diet, unless being offered with a higher protein supplement. Once fully transitioned our cows will be offered a diet with approximately 70% fodder beet.

It is very important to note that the remainder of the diet through the transition period needs to add up to their targetted DM intake. E.g. if targetting 12kgDM/cow/day and FB offered initially is only 2kg then 10kgs must be provided in supplementary feed to maintain BCS while transitioning.
Implementing Plan B at the Hub This year we have set our crop paddocks up with pasture breakout areas for use during adverse weather event. The trigger points for determining when these areas will be utilized are currently being refined. The factors that will be considered when developing the decision rules include:

- Amount of surface water pooling
- Predicted weather conditions
- Structure of the soil & pugging depth
- How much of the breakout area should be allocated
- Logistics of allowing access so that cows can still access crops.

By creating decision rules, it will ensure that we do not use all allocated breakout areas at the start of winter and having no options further down the track AND that everyone on the team knows the triggers
Crop Yielding Crop yielding will be completed every 2 weeks for the paddocks being grazed at the time and also prior to cows entering new crop paddocks. With the growth seen over the last few weeks, re-yielding as we go will allow fine tuning of allocation levels to achieve intake targets and BCS gain.


In addition to our paddock plans we utilise a summary table for the team to ensure the correct break allocations and baleage requirements on a daily basis for each of the 11 wintering mobs. 

Figure 1: Transition Plan for cows in their wintering mobs for the next week.



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%.

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