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 Pre-graze pasture covers have dropped allowing for only 10kgDM/cow pasture allocation on the current rotation. Fodder beet was introduced in paddock for both FB farmlets this week and in-shed feed being increased for the Kale farmlets
Milk Production All herds shifted to OAD milking last Friday, with production dropping by approx. 1 L/cow. SCC hasn’t spiked and is sitting between 130 and 160 000. FEI has reduced for both vats, with a larger reduction for the kale vat. Managing milking speed is critical to ensure cows have time to consume all their in-shed feeding
People Team continuing to manage well with the altering feeding regimes as well as the switch to OAD milking.
Animals BCS completed this week with a wide range of scores being observed across all herds. OAD milking has started 1 week earlier than usual, giving the team the ability to hold off on drying cows off for 2 more weeks due to low number of at-risk cows.
Environment No nitrogen fertiliser applied this week due to dry conditions. With warmer soil temperatures, N application will continue further into the season than planned if moisture allows.
Wintering March crop yields completed with promising yields being measured in the direct drilled fodder beet crops.
Extension Our autumn field day was held on farm and online on the 31st March. The handout is available from the website at News - Southern Dairy Hub

Cows & Milk Analysis

Feed

Principles of Pasture Management this week

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

Quickly eating through home grown baleage for each farmlet so the baleage fed going forward will be 50:50 imported vs farmlet. More lucerne baleage has been purchased and is arriving over the weekend.

All herds expect LI FB herd have eaten more autumn supplement so far than was budgeted for.

FB now being fed in pasture paddock to the FB herds, transitioning into the crop paddock on Monday.
Growth rate Management Residuals have lifted with the increase in supplementary feeding.

Due to warmer weather not all baleage has been eaten so team will reduce the amount of supplement being fed in advance to minimise wastage.
Nitrogen Strategy N applications remain on hold; with the 10th of April nearing but with soil temperatures remaining high we are considering applications past this date providing we are confident in a good growth response.
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 3.0kg inshed (down 1kg from last week)
3.3kg DM baleage
3.0kg inshed (no change from last week)
2.4kg DM baleage
3.1kg inshed (down 0.9 from last week)
Baleage 3.1kg/cow/day
2.0kg inshed (down 0.8 from last week)
Baleage 3.8kg/cow/day
Rotation Length 44 Days 42 Days 44 Days 42 days

Milk Production

Principles of Milk production management this week

Milk Production OAD milking started last Friday as a way of limiting the impact the dry conditions on BCS.

Standard FB herd are still the furthest behind on seasonal production compared to last season with the LI Kales the closest to last season being 1.3% behind.

Std Kale herd continue to out produce the other farmlets even with the change in milking frequency.

Key influences on milk production Total energy intake is likely the biggest contributor to milk production this week with the hot temperatures impacting on intake, especially of the baleage.

OAD milking has seen a slight reduction in litres but very little impact on SCC, interestingly milk solids % dropped in the first few days post switch to OAD.
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 2 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) 1.38 / (1.53) 1.26 / (1.48) 1.32 / (1.49) 1.24 / (1.34)
kg Milksolids per ha this year / (this time last year) 1125/ (1169) 982 / (950) 1048 / (1116) 924 / (915)
Season to date compared to last year Down 1.6% total milk
Half paddock extra in grass this year affects KPI
Down 1.3% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Down 5.9% total milk Down 3.5% total milk
One paddock less in grass this year affects KPI
Cows needing preferential feeding (% herd) 42 cows (25%) 30 cows (22%) 13 cows (8%) 22 cows (16%)
Animal health peculiarities None None None None

Extension

Topics covered at SDH Fieldday 31st March Spotlight on herd improvement and production efficiency and how liveweight data has been used in the system to seek more efficiencies.
LIC Hoofprint index

Reproductive performance trends

Greenhouse gas footprint of the 4 farmlets.

Infrastructure development and final concept designs

Current farm systems trial- results to date

Handout available from: News - Southern Dairy Hub
GHG Emissions Results from the 4 farmlets- Tony Van Der Weerden (AgResearch) Key results of this research were:

The effect of a lower input system (reduced N fertiliser, lower supplement use and lower stocking rate) had a much larger effect on GHG footprint than the choice of winter crop type.

The LI systems had a 20% lower methane footprint and 35% lower long-lived gas footprint than the standard farmlets.

The FB systems had a 9% lower methane footprint and 13% lower long-lived gas footprint than the Kale systems.

The reduced N inputs in the LI systems also resulted in a reduction in direct and indirect N2O emissions from fertilizer use and from urine and dung deposition.



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 – Target line set for 10 kg DMI of pasture

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