2018/19 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 18th April 2019

Table 1: Farmlet feed wedges and general information

*The blue dashed line is the target line without supplementary feeding

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

General Farm Information

Table 2: Key Numbers 18th April 2019

Kale Fodder beet
Soil temp (C) 11.1
Rainfall (mm) 3.0
Milker Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 16.0
Av. Kg MS/cow/day 1.12 (- 0.1) 1.13 (- 0.15)
Average milk fat (%) 5.79 (+ 0.06) 5.76 (+ 0.02)
Average milk prot (%) 4.60 (+ 0.04) 4.62 (+ 0.05)
Average SCC (cells/ml) 132 (- 15) 151 (- 8)
Animal Summary Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Milkers – TAD 159 253 168 140
Milkers – OAD 155 152 167 139
Other/Penos 4 1 1 1

Key Decisions: this week

  • Based off body condition score and taking into consideration low milk yield it was decided to put all the farmlets onto once a day (OAD) this week. Cows will continue to receive supplements to ensure that target APC is hit by dry off. You can see the delegated supplements in the table below. Cows did a good job cleaning up residuals and utilising supplements last week and residuals will continue to be monitored this week.

Table 3: Supplement and pasture allocation to achieve target dry off APC

Feeding (kg DM/cow/day) Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Pasture Allocation 11.5 12.5 11.5 14.4
PKE 2.2 2.2 0 0
Baleage 1.4 1.5 4.1 1.6
  • Some of the fodder beet was lifted this week and also yielded. Once the crop yields results are back and the silage wagon calibrated, then the feeding of fodder beet to the Std. farmlet cows can begin. It will be fed as a supplement to LI and Std. FB farmlets starting at 1 kg/cow/day and transitioning up to 4kg/cow/day if required to meet feed budget targets. If you are also going to feed fodder beet in late lactation, you can read about transitioning here: https://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/crops/fodder-beet/fodder-beet-transitioning/
  • Due to delays, the last of the urea will be applied next week to the Std. farmlets.

General Notes:

  • The DNA tests results arrived back this week. The FB calves had 70% accurate mothering and the kale had 75%. 
  • The Std. Kale farmlet grazed their new grass paddock today. We were happy with the strike of the paddock and the cows can be seen grazing in the image below.


Figure 1: Std. Kale farmlet cows enjoying grazing their new grass paddock for the first time


  • Last week the calves were weighed. In the large mob the weight gain average was 0.9kg gained/day and an average liveweight of 204kg. The lighter calves did not have as greater weight gains at 0.4kg average gained/day, averaging 172kg liveweight. The lighter mob has now been offered baleage in addition to pasture. Next week the mobs will be redrafted into crop groups to prepare the FB calves for transitioning onto FB.
  • The cows were BCS this week which confirmed the decision to go once a day. The LI kale and Std. FB farmlets had a higher % of cows at less than BCS 4 (8%) and also a lower overall BCS average of 4.3.

Table 4: BCS of farmlets and % less than BCS 4

Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
BCS 4.5 (+0.1) 4.3 (-0.1) 4.3 4.5 (+0.2)
% less than BCS 4 1 (-2) 8 (+2) 8 1 (-7)
  • The x19 crop paddocks were yielded this week. Results will be in next week and will be used to determine crop allocations when transitioning onto FB. Below shows an image of how tall our kale crops are getting.

Figure 2: Kale crop beginning to show some height

Animal Health

  • All farmlets were tested for Johnes with the herd test this week.
  • Dry cow consult was undertaken this week and the herd test results were used to determine the best plan of action for dry off treatment.

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 guy.michaels@southerndairyhub.co.nz

For more information check out the DairyNZ link: