2017/18 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 7th November 2017
Highest pasture growth for the season recorded this week of 91kgDM/day has prompted another round of surplus pasture earmarked for baleage. Post topping continues on selected paddocks as required. Rainfall this week has immediately ponded some problem areas quickly again and the forecast rain will only add to this. The focus this week coming is the second day for the farm team on ‘Lean’ management, calf weighing, herd AB, marking crop paddocks for baleage placement, topping as required and preparation for the field day on the 14th next Tuesday.
Pasture cut samples taken last week results are in and with research for feedback to us. Six cuts were taken, two from each of the following –
- Older paddocks with lots of clover evident
- Low FVI paddocks
- High FVI paddocks
ME ranges from 12.4MJME to 12.7MJME and DM% ranges from 14%DM to 19.7%DM
Lab results and comment from research out later this week as available.
Herd & Production
Four even herds run on set farmlets. Per cow production peak has been impacted by the mid July calving date, herd make up of 30% heifers and pasture feed quality in the first round affecting the early calving cows (10.1ME measured). Current production is being maintained.
Table 1: Herd & Production
|Herds on Milking Platform||Unit||Value|
|Milkers - TAD||cows||629|
|Milkers - OAD||cows||53|
|Sick mob (Not in vat)||cows||15|
|Current Stocking Rate (platform)||cows/ha||3.3|
|Production (to the factory) (6/11/17)|
|Total Milksolids (YTD)||kgMS||84,029|
|Total Milksolids (MTD)||kgMS||7,270|
|Total Milksolids (last 7 days)||kgMS||8,442|
|Average per cow daily production (last 7 days)||kgMS/cow/day||1.80|
|Per ha production (last 7 days)||kgMS/ha||4.38|
|Other (to the factory)|
|Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.)||%||.81|
|Milk Urea (7-day avg.)||mg/dl||18.84|
|SCC (7-day avg.)||cells/ml||163,000|
|Fonterra 17/18 Forecast - as at 27 July 17||$/kgMS||$6.75|
Feed Management 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. OAD (BCS of 4 or less) cows can be fed extra supplement in the shed as required by the farm team but must remain with their allocated herds for research purposes. Concentrate in shed is a 50:50 mix of PKE and barley.
Fodder beet (lifted at the end of the winter as surplus to requirements) is being fed just to utilise within the system and is due to be finished on the 9/11/17. The rate used has been dropped this week to 1kgDM/day/cow to minimise any impact of removing this from the diet (cows have shown a preference for the beet each day with minimal wastage in the paddock.
Table 2: Feed Offered
|Milkers – Pasture offered||kgDM/cow/day||18|
|Milkers - Fodder Beet||kgDM/cow/day||1.00|
|Milkers - Pasture Silage||kgDM/cow/day||0.00|
|Milkers - Concentrates - TAD Cows||kgDM/cow/day||0.25|
|Milkers - Concentrates - OAD Cows||kgDM/cow/day||1.50|
Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Management
Total area includes 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.
The remaining fodder beet paddocks are ready to be planted, just waiting on the next weather window. Kale paddocks are being prepared for planting. New area identified this week for baleage both on the platform and on the young stock block, to be harvested as weather allows.
Table 3: Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Metrics
|Pre - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||3100|
|Post - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||1650|
|Average Pasture Cover (avg. over 4)||kgDM/ha||2668|
|Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets)||kgDM/ha/day||98|
|Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets)||days||24|
|Area Available for grazing (milkers)||ha||213|
|Regrassing Area (out of rotation)||ha||20.3|
|Baleage/Silage Area (out of rotation)||ha||20.3|
|Crop Area (out of rotation)||ha||49.6|
|Young Stock (not included in rotation)||ha||29.0|
Fertiliser & Nitrogen
15t of Whole Farm Spring Boost Fertiliser (as per Ravensdown recommended Agronomy Plan) was applied at 187.5 kg/ha to 80ha last week. The remainder will be applied weekly following the cows.
No Urea has been applied this week. Agronomy advise has been that the young grass area requires a greater mix of nutrient than just urea. Ravensdown have provided a mix to feed our young grass area whilst the clover establishes (little clover provides little natural N fixation)
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||37|
|Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am||°C||13.5|
- 90% submission rate 3 weeks
- 78% 6-week in calf rate
First CIDR run at start of AB – 88 cows
We require 30 cows on average daily to achieve target submission rate.
With our calving spread of 17 weeks this spring we consider an emphasis 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 now all on the young stock block after spending some time on the platform over AB to make use of the yards.
R1 heifers are being weaned as they hit 85kgLW and will start being transferred over the river next week. Later born heifers are being fed a mixture of milk from the sick herd and powder to finish them off along with meal.
Research Update (fortnightly)
Forage Value Index:
Pasture growth recordings, herbage sampling and analysis.
Daily recording of grazing, effluent applications, fertiliser application, urea application, harvest for supplement, topping to waste
Winter Feeding Trial:
Update from research: DairyNZ Senior tech on farm Willis Ritchie
Over the past fortnight we have been quite busy.
Georgia Phillips, our casual research technician, left on the 31st of October to head home for her lacrosse season. The technician team have missed her presence.
Nicole Hammond, who is a part time research technician and graduate developer within DairyNZ, will return to the team on Monday the 13th of November from her holiday.
Over the past two weeks we have completed our fortnightly herd test and body condition scoring, along with weekly pasture metering and snip cuts of our forage value index paddocks.
The snips of the forage value index are collected at 1 pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as they come up for grazing. They are then split into their botanical composition’s and dried. A sample is also collected for NIRS (Near InfraRed Spectrometry) and dried before being sent away for analysis.
All the Lithium Heparin blood samples, that were collected during the wintering trial have been sent away for analysis. We have also sent away another lot of fodder beet samples for analysis. The fodder beet is from the beet which was pulled earlier in the season and is currently being fed to the cows.
The next fortnight will be busy again with the herd testing and body condition scoring continuing and the field day on the 14th of November. Hope to see many smiling faces there.
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 have started Lean through DairyNZ requiring fortnightly meetings off farm. A very busy time to be off farm but with a need to develop new systems for everything we do there is no better time to start this.
With the research requirements on the team we are advertising for a new staff member to join us. Normal daily jobs have double the workload here (for example we have 4 herds to get in each day rather than 2) which has placed a strain on the current team who have done a fantastic job.