2019/20 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 1st August 2019

Table 1: Farmlet feed wedges and general information

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

General Farm Information

Table 2: Key Numbers 1st August 2019

Kale Fodder beet
Soil temp (C) 6.7
Rainfall (mm) 12.4
Dry Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 8kg DM crop + 6 kg DM baleage 10.6 kg DM crop + 3-3.5kg DM baleage
Colostrum Allocation (kg DM/cow) 15
Animal Summary Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Dries 159 134 159 131
R2’s 43 36 43 37
Colostrums 1 1 3 2

Key Decisions: this week

  • Calves continue to pop out with a tally x127 calves born to date, including x7 heifer calves.

Figure 2: Calf pens all ready for the influx

  • The available kale crop is quickly running out so decisions had to be made this week as to how to extend the non-lactating cows kale feeding to prevent them grazing the milking platform too early. Due to the higher than targeted APC on all farmlets, some baleage initially saved for milkers can be used to feed to dries. Once springers and dries have been redrafted on Monday, kale allocation will be dropped by 25% to 8kg DM kale/cow/day and the difference supplemented with extra baleage (6 kgDM/cow/day).
  • Cows are springing rapidly and being checked daily between springer drafts to avoid calving on crop. On Monday the springers will be drafted colour by colour into springers, mids and lates and then redrafted into springer mobs every Monday and Thursday. Springer breaks are set up 4 days in advance, all mobs will receive 50gm/cow/day MgOxide dusted and 70gm/cow/day Mg Chloride in the water, plus FB farmlet mobs receive 50gm DCP.

General Notes:

Table 3: Plate and visual APC and growth rate for the last week

APC Plate APC visual GR Plate GR Visual Rotation (all area)
Pink 2683 2614 23 27 -
Blue 2619 2576 13 9 -
Green 2613 2575 18 17 -
Yellow 2670 2609 20 10 -
  • Feed budgets for each farmlet are being continuously monitored and Spring Rotation Planners have begun implementation. We have exceeded our target APC for the start of calving by at least 100kg DM/ha for all farmlets and the feed budget for the farmlets are sitting extremely comfortable, with supplement (inshed pke/barley for kale and lifted fodder beet) available to be feed to milkers if required.

Figure 3: Colostrum cows enjoying the sunshine last week

Animal Health

  • The table below outlines our proposed mineral supplementation program for springers, colostrum and milkers to minimise animal health issues over calving. For your herds required mineral supplementation, you can refer to page 89 of the DairyNZ facts and figures book. All amounts are grams/cow/day


Kale Springers FB Springers Colostrum Milkers
MagOxide 50gm 50gm 50gm 50gm
MagChloride 70gm 70gm 70gm 70gm
DCP 50gm 50gm
Limeflour 300gm 300gm
  • Results back from bloods last we show that P and Mg levels are good, however Se was in low end of the range. From these results, there were two options for Se supplementation: through the water or injection. Due to wintering on crop it is uncertain how much water the cows are actually drinking so we have decided to treat all cows with a short acting Se injection to ensure all cows receive their required dose.

People Management and Visitors

  • Our calf rearer started this week and is getting up to speed with the farm and research requirements of this role
  • We undertook a fire drill on site this week to ensure everyone was familiar with the process.

Research on-farm

  • Blood and stature measurements were taken from Kale R1’s today as they are getting towards the end of their kale crop so will be moving onto grass, baleage and PKE on the support block until the fodder beet R1’s finish their crop at which time all animals will head away to a grazier.

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: