2018/19 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 13th July 2018

July sunrise SDH – photo thanks to our 2ic / SDH photographer Ben Williams!

Table 1: Key Numbers 13th July

Milking Platform average Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow
Soil temp 4.9
Rainfall 10.4
Av. Pasture Cover 2243 2229 2229 2289 2224
Round Length N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Pasture Growth rate 8 7 8 10 7
No. of cows milking 0 0 0 0 0
Av. Kg MS/cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Av. Kg MS/ha N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Milking frequency N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Week summary:

  • Average BCS 5.1 for MA cows and BCS 5.9 for R2s. BCS by group and herd profiles can be found in “herd and production’ section
  • Cows drafted into early or later calving groups and crop allocations adjusted where required
  • 20 Cull cows away (see stock section)
  • Team preparing to draft the first batch of springer cows off crop next week to start cow transition off winter crop onto pasture and start the introduction of magnesium to cow diets before calving.

SDH cow collars assembled and ready to be allocated to the herd.

Four different farmlets Feed Wedges 13th July 2018

Blue = Lower intensity kale

Green = Standard fodder beet

Red/Pink = Standard kale

Yellow = Lower intensity fodder beet

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 2: Herd & Production

Standard Kale Red Low intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Low intensity Fodder beet Yellow Units
Milkers - TAD N/A N/A N/A N/A cows
Milkers - OAD N/A N/A N/A N/A cows
Colostrum N/A N/A N/A N/A cows
Springers N/A N/A N/A N/A cows
Sick mob cows
Culls / deaths cows
Current Stocking Rate N/A N/A N/A N/A cows/ha
Production (to the factory) (../../18) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total Milksolids (YTD) N/A N/A N/A N/A kgMS
Total Milksolids (MTD) N/A N/A N/A N/A kgMS
Total Milksolids (last 7 days) N/A N/A N/A N/A kgMS
Average per cow daily production (last 7 days) N/A N/A N/A N/A kgMS/cow/day
Per ha production (last 7 days) N/A N/A N/A N/A kgMS/ha
Other (to the factory) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.) N/A N/A N/A N/A %
Milk Urea (7-day avg.) N/A N/A N/A N/A mg/dl
SCC (7-day avg.) N/A N/A N/A N/A cells/ml
Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Fonterra 18/19 Forecast $/kgMS

Cows BCS results this week compared to 5/6/2018:

Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow
BCS R2 (21/6/2018) 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.6
BCS R2 (12/7/2018) 5.9 6.0 5.9 5.6
BCS MA (21/6/2018) 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7
BCS MA (12/7/2018) 5.3 5.2 5.1 4.9

In the figures above the early calving groups calve between 25th July and 24th August with the late calving groups being all animals calving after this date. Solid bars are for mixed age cows (including R3’s), hashed bars are R2’s.

Comments:

  • The BCS range of the fodder beet herds is greater than the kale herds with mixed age cows ranging from BCS 4 to 6.5.
  • Within the fodder beet mobs there are 7 cows (total of 377 cows on beet) still at BCS 4 which is disappointing given the feed allocations that have been targeted. All but one of the BCS 4 cows are due to calve before 25th August making it difficult to put much condition on them before calving. Options are being considered to pull them off crop and put them onto pasture.    
  • The better BCS gain on the kale cows is most likely the result of the PKE feeding as feed allocations for all herds were calculated to achieve similar ME intakes. Previous research has reported better efficiency of BCS gain with PKE (Mandok et al. Journal of Dairy Science 2014)
  • 20 cull cows (on winter contracts as the management of M.bovis restricted works space in the autumn) away this week. The balance of the 50 wintered are to be processed early August or earlier as suits Alliance and the farm team.

Feed Management

  • The four herds are to remain on their allocated farmlets always.
  • 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 to be determined for the 2018/19 season.

Table 3: Feed Offered to milkers

Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow
Milkers – Pasture Kg DM /cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A
Milkers – Fodder beet kg DM/cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A
Milkers – Baleage kgDM/cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A
Milkers – Concentrates kgDM/cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A
Milkers below BCS target - Concentrates kgDM/cow/day N/A N/A N/A N/A
TOTAL DM OFFERED N/A N/A N/A N/A

Table 4: Feed Offered to dry cows

Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow
Dry Cows – Pasture kgDM /cow/day 0 0 0 0
Dry Cows – Crop kgDM/cow/day 8.1 8.1 11.3 11.3
Dry Cows – Silage/baleage kgDM/cow/day 3.5 1.3 2.9 2.8
Dry Cows – PKE kgDM/cow/day 3.9 5.0 0 0
TOTAL DM OFFERED 15.1 14.4 14.2 14.1

Table 5: Feed Offered to heifers

Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow
R1's - Crop kgDM/day 4.8 4.8 5.0 5.0
R1's – Baleage kgDM/day 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.3
TOTAL DM OFFERED 8 8 8.3 8.3
R2's – Crop kgDM/cow/day N/A as they are in with the skinny cows of their respective herds
R2's – Baleage kgDM/day N/A as they are in with the skinny cows of their respective herds
TOTAL DM OFFERED

Comments:

  • The PKE will be finished on Thursday this week so from Friday onwards all kale mobs will be offered kale and baleage. Because of the good BCS gain in these herds the ME allocation will be reduced to reflect this with an MEI of 118 being targeted in these mobs.
  • Initial calculations indicate that there is enough kale remaining to feed all kale cows at the proposed levels – 9.5-10.4 kg DM/cow/day for another 35 however the kale feed budget is currently being revised based on the calving spread so this will be reported next week.
  • Feed allocation will remain the same to the fodder beet herds
  • APC across the farmlets continues to increase with growth rates between 7-10 kg DM/day in the last fortnight.
  • Crop paddocks for next winter have been identified and will be used for springers and to protect grazing areas during really wet periods. 

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 6: Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Metrics

Milking platform average Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow Unit
Pre - Graze cover target N/A N/A N/A N/A kgDM/ha
Post - Graze cover target N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A kgDM/ha
Average Pasture Cover (avg. over 4 farmlets) 2243 2229 2229 2289 2224 kgDM/ha
Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets) 8 8 7 10 7 kgDM/ha/day
Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A days
Area Available for grazing (milkers) 63.8 62.8 63.6 60.9 ha
Regrassing Area (out of rotation) N/A N/A N/A N/A ha
Baleage/Silage Area (out of rotation) 0 0 0 0 ha
Crop Area (out of rotation whole farm) 11.6 11.6 11.6 11.6 ha
Aeration Area N/A N/A N/A N/A ha
Young Stock (not included in rotation) N/A N/A N/A N/A ha

Comments:

  • Crop yields have been measured this week with results available next week. Leaf yields on the fodder beet has been reduced due to hard frosts earlier in the month.

Fertiliser & Nitrogen

Table 7: Nitrogen use on Farm

Standard Kale Red Lower intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Lower intensity Fodder beet Yellow Unit
Nitrogen: Urea only (last 7 days)
Area (Winter crop) ha
Rate kg/N/ha
Fertiliser (last 7 days)
Area ha
Rate kg/ha
Climate conditions
Rainfall (total last 7 days) 10.4 mm
Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am 4.9 °C

Stock Reproductive Performance

Table 8: Reproduction Metrics

Target Expected Units
Planned start of Mating (PSM) Standard Kale Red Low intensity Kale Blue Standard Fodder beet Green Low intensity Fodder beet Yellow
Mixed Aged Cows Date
2016 Born Heifers Date
Calving spread
3 weeks 60 60 63 63 %
6 weeks 85 89 87 87 %
9 weeks 96 96 97 97 %
3 week Submission Rate 90 %
6 week in-calf rate 78 %
Empty Rate 10 %

People Management

We welcome Caitlin Crack to the team as a new DairyNZ research technician to assist Nicole S. Hammond on farm, welcome on board.

We also welcome Uere Kaarere to the SDH farm team on a permanent basis after starting here on a casual basis through Enterprise Recruitment and impressing us with his start on farm. Great to have you on board to join the team.

DairyNZ research assistant Becky preparing winter crop samples for the oven to measure yields

Research on-farm

AgResearch trial plots for measuring N leachate on winter grazed fodder beet. Same measurements on kale plots, same day.

Autumn lifted fodder beet plots fenced off and winter grazed plots alongside.

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:

https://www.dairynz.co.nz/about-us/research/research-farms/southern-dairy-hub/