2017/18 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 27th February 2018

FarmTune ‘Red Tag Area’ identified in the workshop for all those bits of equipment that need consideration for future use – all in one spot!

General comments

Very good Autumn grass growth has lifted APC over 2600kgDM/ha and the farm team have dropped out all supplements apart from 300gms/Cow/day PKE:Barley mix in the shed.

Residuals are starting to be harder to control and target at 1600kgDM/ha. The R2 heifers are now home for pregnancy testing and are being used to drop residuals to the target where possible.

Critical Targets this week

  • Pregnancy test herd re-checks
  • Pregnancy test R2 heifers

Herd & Production

Four herds split evenly on age, BW / PW and on the winter crop trial treatment groups to ensure the herds are as even as possible. Each herd allocated a farmlet corresponding to their herd tag colour Green, Blue, Yellow and Pink. Farmlets have paddocks allocated so each herd has equal walking distance from the shed and the same proportion of each soil type and equal proportions of pastures in the FVI trial (forage value trial – refer web site section on research).

Staph Aureus has been identified in approximately 40 cows at The Hub. A high bulk SCC and cows not reacting quickly to treatment encouraged investigation leading to this diagnosis. Infected cows have drafted out and are being milked last to prevent the spread of this infection.

Table 1: Herd & Production

Herds on Milking Platform Unit Value
Milkers - 3 in 2 cows 620
Milkers - OAD cows 0
Colostrum cows 0
Springers cows 0
Sick mob (1 x penicillin, In the vat: 2 x lames and 28 x HSCC cows) All but 4 in vat cows 31
Culls / deaths cows 0
Current Stocking Rate (platform) cows/ha 2.6
Production (to the factory) (28/02/18)
Total Milksolids (YTD) kgMS 198,817
Total Milksolids (MTD) kgMS 26,568
Total Milksolids (last 7 days) kgMS 6,685
Average per cow daily production (last 7 days) kgMS/cow/day 1.55
Per ha production (last 7 days) kgMS/ha 4.03
Other (to the factory)
Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.) % 0.79
Milk Urea (7-day avg.) mg/dl 33.02
SCC (7-day avg.) cells/ml 111,000
Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) A
Fonterra 17/18 Forecast - as at 7th Dec 17 $/kgMS $6.40

Feed Management

The four herds are to remain on their allocated farmlets at all times. The 2017/18 season aim is to feed all cows in a similar manner all season. Any differences to be recorded.  Decision rules for Cows of BCS 4 or less are that they can be fed extra supplement in the shed as required by the farm team and be milked OAD but will remain in their allocated herds for research purposes. The concentrate in the shed is a 50:50 mix of PKE and barley.


R1 heifers are behind a wire rotating around the platform, no supplements offered.

R2 heifers on the platform this week ready for pregnancy testing

As APC has lifted supplements offered has dropped –

Supplements being offered to all cows are currently:

  • 300gms

At these rates of PKE we are still recording a FEI target of A.

Table 2: Feed Offered

Milkers – Pasture offered kgDM/cow/day 17
Milkers - Fodder Beet kgDM/cow/day 0
Milkers - Pasture Silage kgDM/cow/day 0
Milkers - Concentrates – 3 in 2 Cows (shed) kgDM/cow/day 300gm per day
Milkers - Concentrates – 3 in 2 Cows (pdk) kgDM/cow/day
Milkers - Concentrates - OAD Cows kgDM/cow/day 0

Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Management

Total area is 327ha(eff), 32.5ha(eff) young stock block and 294ha(eff) platform. Winter crop is grown on both blocks for all stock. Crop rotation is two years in crop then re-grass. PGG Wrightson grass cultivars used are Rely, Platform and Excess, all diploids. Where target residuals are missed, topping after grazing is the tool the farm team use as needed.

Table 3: Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Metrics

Pre - Graze cover target kgDM/ha 2700
Post - Graze cover target kgDM/ha 1500
Average Pasture Cover (avg. over 4 farmlets) kgDM/ha 2610
Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets) kgDM/ha/day 95
Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets) days 29
Area Available for grazing (milkers) ha 253
Regrassing Area (out of rotation) ha 0
Baleage/Silage Area (out of rotation) ha 0
Crop Area (out of rotation) ha 46
Aeration Area ha 0.0
Total platform effective ha 300
Young Stock (not included in rotation) ha 29.0

BCS due next week

Table 4: Fertiliser & Nitrogen Metrics

Nitrogen (Urea only)(last 7 days) Unit
Area (Winter crop) ha
Rate kg/N/ha
Fertiliser (last 7 days) Unit
Area ha 0
Rate kg/ha 0
Climate conditions
Rainfall (total last 7 days) mm 11
Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am °C 15.5

Reproductive Performance


6 week in calf rate confirmed at 79% of cows scanned. More info with a breakdown to come.

Table 5: Reproduction Metrics

Planned start of Mating (PSM) Unit Target Actual
Mixed Aged Cows Date 29-Oct-17
2016 Born Heifers Date 21-Oct-17
Submission Rate % 90 91
6 Week in-calf rate % 78 79
Empty Rate % 10 TBC

Research Update (fortnightly)

No update this week

Research Proposals

The SDH welcome research proposals for any sampling or research on the SDH, these are assessed by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC). Just send your request or ask for information via guy.michaels@southerndairyhub.co.nz

For more information check out the DairyNZ link:


People Management