2020/21 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 12th November 2020

Table 1: Farmlet feed wedges and general information

*If you are struggling to view the tables and wedges you can download the pdf here

NOTES: Hatched bars are paddocks that have been stepped over for conservation

Table 1: Key Herd Numbers 12/11/2020 – percentage of the herd in each mob

DATE: 12th Nov 2020 Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB Total
Current Herd Numbers 197 163 196 164 723
Milking TAD into vat 168 143 167 142 623
Milking OAD into vat 27 16 24 17 84
Sick/penos 2 4 5 5 16

Table 2: Key Weather and Feeding Numbers 12/11/2020

Soil temp (C) 11.9
Rainfall (mm) 11.4
Allocations Kg DM/cow/day Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Milkers 19 kg pasture 19 kg DM pasture 19 kg DM pasture 19 kg DM pasture

Key Decisions: this week

  • The biggest decision this week relates to maintaining pasture quality through aggressive surplus management, shutting up paddocks, and getting cows going into paddocks at target pre-graze masses so they achieve residual without intervention or sending them back to clean up.
  • Staff on ‘cow-chasing’ will be asked to communicate after every PM milking the residual of the paddock so that adjustments can be made to the grazing plan by dropping more paddocks out if residuals are not being met.
  • Post graze topping will continue to manage seed-head emergence as required.
  • Supplementary feeding has been further reduced this week as we contend with above demand pasture growth and increasing residuals due to substitution. In-shed feeding has been removed from the Std Kale farmlet and we will stop feeding fodder beet to the Std and LI FB herds. Going forward this week all farmlets will receive pasture only.
  • This week there was a redraft of cows into ‘at risk’ or returned back to TAD milking:
  • Off OAD if:
    • condition of light cows has increased
    • previously rough coated cows with OK condition are looking better and have cycled
  • Onto OAD if:
    • Are rough coated and have not cycled
    • Have a BCS similar to other OAD cows.
  • The identified ‘at risk’ cows (BCS<4, rough coated and not cycling) will receive 2kg inshed feeding regardless of their farmlet. Overall there are 11 cows new to OAD and need priority feeding, 55 cows to continue OAD and feeding, and 18 cows OAD but no priority feeding making it a total of 84 ‘at-risk’ cows overall (x27 Std. Kale, x16 LI Kale, x24 Std. FB, x17 LI FB).
  • The extra FB on hand will be sold as we should not require FB supplementation going forward and lifted FB has a limited shelf life.

General Notes:

  • 8 paddocks will be conserved for baleage this week – x2 Std Kale, x3 LI Kale, x2 Std. FB, x1 LI FB. Cutting paddocks shut up for baleage may be delayed due to a wet week of weather ahead.
  • We regrassed x5 paddocks this week and x2 paddocks last week, we only have one paddock left to do.
  • The remainder of the CIDR cows were mated today. We had a big day with 29 CIDR cows and an additional 44 other cows submitted. This is well above our target of 31 cows/day submitted to reach 90% 3 week submission rate. The graph below shows each farmlets progress so far. The Std FB are lagging slightly behind the other farmlets though have been beginning to catchup the last few days and are above the target 3-week submission line below.

Figure 1: 3 week submission rate farmlet tracker compared to herd average and 3 week target line


  • Milk production continues to track along though with the increase in pasture growth it is important to manage pasture surplus to prevent quality loss impacting on milk production. Last week the FB farmlets were tracking behind; the Std. FB has jumped up this week but the LI FB farmlet is still tracking behind despite them not achieving target residual and receiving 1 kg DM fodder beet.

Figure 2: Milk production kg MS/cow/day for each farmlet


  • With our springer paddocks sprayed out, the 2021 FB paddocks will be ploughed as soon as possible, and the 2021 kale ploughed in the next 2 weeks. We want to ensure that the soil conditions are optimum when the fodder beet is sown to avoid potential glazing by the coulters affecting establishment and growth. This was a major issue on our soil type when the 2017 crops were established in a hurry in less than ideal conditions.
  • Our catch-crop of oats continues to grow at the support block

Figure 3: Catch-crop of oats at the support block

Animal Health

  • We have had to bring a calf back from the support block and put it back into the shed out of the sun to treat for photosynthesis. This has occurred year on year and we hope to keep the cases down through early detection and management.
  • This week x3 cows were culled: x1 Std. Kale for bad behaviour and x2 Std. FB due to a poor udder and a heifer that had dried herself off.
  • We are continuing to get a handful of lame cows each week with the majority of them having stone bruising or stones lodged in the hoof

People Management and Visitors

  • We are on the lookout for a research technician to join the DairyNZ team on site. If this is something you might be interested in or know someone who might be keen check out the details from the link below


Research on-farm

  • The first area of our winter crop establishment demonstration has been sprayed out and ripped in preparation for planting

Figure 4: Sprayed out and ripped area in 2021 fodder beet paddock

General Farm Systems Information

The project farm systems comparison has been designed to better understand crop-based wintering in relation to consequences for environmental impact and profit

  • The four herds are split evenly on age, BW / PW, calving date and breed 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).

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 louise.cook@southerndairyhub.co.nz

For more information check out the DairyNZ link: