2017/18 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 28th November 2017
Yellow herd ready for the afternoon milking 3pm
Soil conditions noticeable dryer but does not seem to have impacted pasture growth rates over the last week.
- 96% Submission rate achieved in 31 days (18% of herd with CIDR’s)
- Too early to get an accurate estimate of our NRR. Farm team happy with the number of returns to date daily.
- Last winter crop sown this week on platform and young stock block
- 23ha identified for baleage as surplus
- High SCC cows tested via rapid mastitis test (RMT) after concerns the SCC was staying too high. Identified 31 cows with abnormal reactions, samples taken and sent away for analysis. Average SCC has fallen from 170,000 to 96,000
- Topping behind cows as required
Critical Targets this week
- Continued focus on identifying return cows on heat / paddock checks moving into week 5 of AI
- Topping behind cows as required to maintain quality for next round
- Finishing treatment on high SCC cows and returning to the vat
- BCS this week
- Weigh calves
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).
Table 1: Herd & Production
|Herds on Milking Platform||Unit||Value|
|Milkers - TAD||cows||610|
|Milkers - OAD||cows||38|
|Sick mob (Not in vat)||cows||41|
|Current Stocking Rate (platform)||cows/ha||3.3|
|Production (to the factory) (21/11/17)|
|Total Milksolids (YTD)||kgMS||106,823|
|Total Milksolids (MTD)||kgMS||30,064|
|Total Milksolids (last 7 days)||kgMS||7,723|
|Average per cow daily production (last 7 days)||kgMS/cow/day||1.70|
|Per ha production (last 7 days)||kgMS/ha||4.38|
|Other (to the factory)|
|Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.)||%||0.82|
|Milk Urea (7-day avg.)||mg/dl||15.60|
|SCC (7-day avg.)||cells/ml||154,000|
|Fat Evaluation Index (FEI)||A|
|Fonterra 17/18 Forecast - as at 27 July 17||$/kgMS||$6.75|
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. OAD (BCS of 4 or less) cows can be fed extra supplement in the shed as required by the farm team but will remain with their allocated herds for research purposes. Concentrate in shed is a 50:50 mix of PKE and barley.
Table 2: Feed Offered
|Milkers – Pasture offered||kgDM/cow/day||18|
|Milkers - Fodder Beet||kgDM/cow/day||0|
|Milkers - Pasture Silage||kgDM/cow/day||0.00|
|Milkers - Concentrates - TAD Cows||kgDM/cow/day||0.00|
|Milkers - Concentrates - OAD Cows||kgDM/cow/day||1.5|
Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Management
Total area is 327 ha (eff), 32.5 ha (eff) young stock block and 294 ha (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.
Last of the kale planted on the platform (Regal) and two paddocks planted on the young stock block (Kestrel).
Some weeds developing in the new grass area which will require monitoring and potentially needing a post emergence spray.
Fodder beet paddocks, plants up and baleage in place
Table 3: Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Metrics
|Pre - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||3100|
|Post - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||1600|
|Average Pasture Cover (avg. over 4)||kgDM/ha||2586|
|Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets)||kgDM/ha/day||77|
|Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets)||days||26|
|Area Available for grazing (milkers)||ha||233|
|Regrassing Area (out of rotation)||ha||20.3|
|Baleage/Silage Area (out of rotation)||ha||0|
|Crop Area (out of rotation)||ha||46.4|
|Total platform effective||ha||300.0|
|Young Stock (not included in rotation)||ha||29.0|
Fertiliser & Nitrogen
Whole Farm Spring Boost Fertiliser (as per Ravensdown recommended Agronomy Plan) will be applied weekly following the cows.
Table 4: Fertiliser & Nitrogen Metrics
|Nitrogen (Urea only)(last 7 days)||Unit|
|Total Nitrogen applied to date||kgN/ha|
|Fertiliser (last 7 days)||Unit|
|Rainfall (total last 7 days)||mm||0.2|
|Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am||°C||15|
- 90% submission rate 3 weeks) (91% achieved)
- 78% 6-week in calf rate
On average 30 cows per day were required to achieve target submission rate.
The calving spread of 17 weeks (spring 2017) meant there has been a focus on bringing our later calving cows forward over time.
Table 5: Reproduction Metrics
|Planned start of Mating (PSM)||Unit|
|Mixed Aged Cows||Date||29-Oct-17|
|2016 Born Heifers||Date||21-Oct-17|
Young Stock Management
R2 heifers are split into two lines with Jersey bulls. They are due to return to the platform for a few days next week to weigh through the older set of wooden yards. Will update LW’s after weighing.
Most of the heifers have been weaned off milk now and are grazing on the milking? platform still. Supplement has been harvested on the young stock block and when there has been sufficient regrowth the calves will join the R2 heifers there.
Research Update (fortnightly)
Update from DairyNZ on farm Senior Research Technician, Willis Ritchie
Forage Value Index:
Measurements and sampling continue for the FVI trial on the following:
- Pasture growth
- Herbage sampling and analysis
- Daily recording of grazing
- Effluent applications
- Fertiliser applications,
- Urea applications
- Harvest for supplement
- Topping to waste
Winter Feeding Trial:
Over the past two weeks we have completed our monthly effluent samples, fortnightly herd test and body condition scoring, along with weekly pasture metering. The first snip cuts of pasture for botanical composition have been taken and these will be analysed at a later date. The next scheduled snip cut will be in January/February.
Nicole Hammond, who is a part time research technician and developer with DairyNZ, has returned from her 6-week trip away and was straight into herd testing and our first field day.
Planning has begun for the two new trials that will hopefully begin in approximately a fortnights time. Further detail on these trials will be made available once planning is completed. Herd testing will move from fortnightly sampling to monthly sampling after the December herd test is completed. Body condition scoring will continue fortnightly.
Requests to the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) are possible to consider projects just send your request or ask for information via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information check out the DairyNZ link:
8:2 & 8:3 roster
- The farm team continue with Farmtune a lean management program designed to improve efficiencies on farm. Over the last couple of weeks the team have been learning how to identify opportunities for improvement of different systems find solutions and create standard operating procedures.
- As previously reported, Applications for the newly advertised staff member are being reviewed as they arrive. Having the addition staff member will benefit the existing farm team as the normal daily jobs require double the workload on a research farm (for example four herds to get in for milking each day rather than two) which under the current structure has highlighted the requirement of an additional person to reduce the strain on the current team who continue to do a fantastic job.
Farmtune work – Teamwork setting out Standard Operating Procedures