2017/18 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 13th March 2018
The level of the effluent pond is continuing to drop with increased paddock applications where possible
Week ending 13th March 2018
Table 1: Key Numbers week ending 13th March 2018
|Av. Pasture Cover||2793 kg DM/ha|
|Round Length||42 days|
|Pasture Growth rate||30 kg DM/day|
|Soil temp||14.5 C|
|No. of cows milking||641 cows|
|Av. Supplement used (milkers)||0.250 kg DM/cow/day|
|Av. Kg MS/cow/day||1.45 kg MS/cow/day|
|Av. Kg MS/ha||3.7 kg MS/ha|
- Round length 42 days (including baleage paddocks)
- Baleage cut delayed due to weather; targeting Friday or Saturday this week
- Decision to stay on 3in2 milking frequency
- All empty heifers removed off farm (Wednesday 7th March)
- 250 grams concentrate offered inshed to encourage cow flow
- Continue to follow cows with 55kg N/ha
- Cows struggling to hit target residuals; R2’s being used to help clean up behind
- Cow BCS 4.6
Critical Targets this week
- Baleage cut
- R2’s return to support block
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 2: Herd & Production
|Herds on Milking Platform||Unit||Value|
|Milkers - 3 in 2||cows||641|
|Milkers - OAD||cows||0|
|Sick mob (1 x penicillin, In the vat: 2 x lames and 28 x HSCC cows) All but 4 in vat||cows||8|
|Culls / deaths||cows||0|
|Current Stocking Rate (platform; not counting R1’s)||cows/ha||3.04|
|Production (to the factory) (28/02/18)|
|Total Milksolids (YTD)||kgMS||208,100|
|Total Milksolids (MTD)||kgMS||11,126|
|Total Milksolids (last 7 days)||kgMS||5,529|
|Average per cow daily production (last 7 days)||kgMS/cow/day||1.45|
|Per ha production (last 7 days)||kgMS/ha||3.7|
|Other (to the factory)|
|Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.)||%||0.81|
|Milk Urea (7-day avg.)||mg/dl||30.1|
|SCC (7-day avg.)||cells/ml||146,000|
|Fat Evaluation Index (FEI)||A|
|Fonterra 17/18 Forecast - as at 7th Dec 17||$/kgMS||$6.40|
- Milking frequency will remain at 3in2 due to staff preference and per cow milk production dropping from 1.6 to 1.45kg MS/cow/day
- 15.5% of the cows below ≤BCS 4. Options for these animals are being discussed. Factors being considered are:
- Calving date
- Logisitics of OAD milking within the 3 in 2 regime
- Current milk production
- Autumn feeding plans
- Inshed feeding was monitored to see which cows were eating all of the feed offered and how it corresponded to their BCS
- Bloods and liver biopsy were taken from heifers as concerned with brown coats and coarse fur. Selenium, Copper and B12 were all at normal levels from the x3 heifer’s liver biopsy tests.
- Advised by vet to give a slow release Copper bolus in the next 3 months prior to going on crop
- R2’s will return back to the support block later this week/next week as spending too long in paddocks cleaning up after cows
- Empty heifers have left farm
R2 heifers cleaning up after milking herd
- 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.
Table 3: 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||0.250|
|Milkers - Concentrates – 3 in 2 Cows (pdk)||kgDM/cow/day||0|
|Milkers - Concentrates - OAD Cows||kgDM/cow/day||0|
- Cows struggling to hit residual of 1600kgDM/ha. Concerns over what cows are offered vs. what they are actually eating.
- Cows each offered inshed 250gm concentrate (50/50 PKE: Barley) to encourage cow flow
- Round length extended to 42-days
If the winter feed budget allows, fodder beet will be considered as a supplement for milkers late season.
This will allow the farm team to:
- Offer a supplement feed with pasture to take pressure off the APC late in the season
- Introduce the cows to beet through early winter transition
- Open up the fodder beet paddock face ready for winter and ease of grazing
- Avoid the use of pasture paddocks when transitioning onto fodder beet early winter (and the pugging damage associated)
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 4: Land, Pasture, Crop & Silage Metrics
|Pre - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||3350|
|Post - Graze cover target||kgDM/ha||1600|
|Average Pasture Cover (avg. over 4 farmlets)||kgDM/ha||2793|
|Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets)||kgDM/ha/day||30|
|Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets)||days||42|
|Area Available for grazing (milkers)||ha||213|
|Regrassing Area (out of rotation)||ha||0|
|Baleage/Silage Area (out of rotation)||ha||0|
|Crop Area (out of rotation)||ha||49.6|
|Total platform effective||ha||300|
|Young Stock (not included in rotation)||ha||29.0|
- Growth rate measured at 30kg DM/ha/day however we feel this is likely to be an underestimate on heavier paddocks due to flattening by the vehicle towing the c-dax before measurement
- Still waiting to cut baleage paddocks due to weather restrictions. Aiming for Friday/Saturday this week; this will momentarily bring rotation length down to 34-36 days
- 55kg N/ha applied to 91ha behind the cows
- Effluent pond is going down due to the application of effluent most days (as conditions allow)
- 1.8 million litres was applied with the umbilical cord Wednesday/Thursday last week
Table 5: Nitrogen use on Farm
|Nitrogen (Urea only)(last 7 days)||Unit|
|Area (Winter crop)||ha||91|
|Fertiliser (last 7 days)||Unit|
|Rainfall (total last 7 days)||mm||1|
|Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am||°C||14.5|
- The herd had an empty rate of 7 – 11%. This is either 7% of cows scanned or 11% of cows mated. The 11% is from that start of mating inclusive of cows culled due to Staph outbreak and the dry period.
Table 6: Reproduction Metrics
|Planned start of Mating (PSM)||Target||Actual||Unit|
|Mixed Aged Cows||29-Oct-17||Date|
|2016 Born Heifers||21-Oct-17||Date|
|3 week Submission Rate||90||91||%|
|6 week in-calf rate||78||79||%|
Research Update (fortnightly)
No update this week
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 email@example.com
For more information check out the DairyNZ link:
- Advertising and interviews continue for another permanent employee to lift our team to 5 permanent farm staff for the rest of this season and into the next.