2018/19 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 23rd August 2018

General Farm Information

Table 1: Key Numbers 23rd August

Milking Platform average
Soil temp (C) 5.7
Rainfall (mls) 14.6
Av. Pasture Cover (kg DM/ha) 2260
Pasture Growth rate (kg DM/ha/day) 20
No. of cows milking 324
Av. Kg MS/cow/day 2.0
Milker Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 15.1 kg DM pasture
Colostrum Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 14.5 kg DM pasture
Springer Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 10 kg total (baleage, hay & pasture

Table 2: Animal Summary by farmlet

Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB Units
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Animal Summary
Milkers – TAD 82 92 92 71 cows
Colostrum 16 7 20 22 cows
Springers 37 37 31 27 cows
Sick mob 9 6 13 7 cows
Dries on crop 56 47 42 44 cows
% of heifer replacements selected 100 78 76 82 calves

Table 3: Feed Summary by farmlet

Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB Units
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Paste Summary
Average pasture cover 2266 2268 2278 2228 kg DM
Growth Rate 13 22 22 23 kgDM/d
Area grazed (season to date) 18.3 18.6 16.8 15.4 ha
Cows on Crop
Kale (kg DM/cow) 5.2 5.2
Fodder beet (kg DM/cow) 9.2 9.2
Baleage (kg DM/cow) 7.5 7.5 2.8 2.8

NB: The target lines on these wedges are incorrect. Current area allocation is being determined from the spring rotation planner

Std Kale (Pink)

LI Kale (Blue)

Std FB (Green)

Key Decisions this week

  • Feed budget has been updated – balancing SRP and intake means we will commence feeding supplements to the kale herds this week – 1.5 kg DM PKE:barley blend in the dairy
  • Will explore option of lifting fodder beet and feeding to fodder beet milkers as a supplement.
  • “Banked” area in the SRP will be used to increase the pasture allowance this week to achieve targeted intakes for the FB herds without supplement.
  • Kale herds have now finished all their kale
  • N fertiliser will be applied to grazed paddocks across all farmlets as well as paddocks assessed to be struggling, below APC 2000 kg DM/ha, looking hard and not growing between the clumps. Our decision rule for N application is soil temperature > 5oC and trending upwards. We will be using an ammonium sulphur product as soil tests have indicated soil to be low in sulphur. Information around N fertiliser timings and application can be found at: https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/255708/7-10_Nitrogen_fertiliser_2012.pdf

General Notes:

  • We have 30 replacement calves to still collect, keeping 25% replacements from each farmlet rather than 25% across the whole farmlet.
  • Colostrum cows are being moved on early to prevent damage to paddocks and where necessary the Kale dry cows will be used to clean up.
  • Negative growth has been excluded from the calculated average growth rate because of error messages from the C-Dax due to soil on the senses, wet conditions and clumps of grass throughout the paddocks.

Animal Health

  • Lime flour dusting will commence this week due to issues with cows coming off the fodder beet. This will become a routine to all colostrum cows going forward.
  • Colostrum cows are receiving Mg dusted in the paddock over pasture, springers receiving MgO dusted on baleage fed through the silage wagon, and milkers are receiving MgCl through the in-line dispenser. More info on Mg supplementation and its importance in preventing metabolic issues can be found at https://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/seasonal-management/spring-management/magnesium-calcium-and-energy/
  • Blood samples were collected from the R1’s when they were through the yards for weighing last week. A mineral supplementation plan will be based on the results which we expect any day now.

People Management

  • The farm team is still down by one FTE, however a new member has been employed and will commence work in a fortnight

Research on-farm

  • This week we have taken pasture samples from the paddocks being grazed by the milking herd to estimate N and ME intake.
  • Milk samples have been collected from 40 milkers that exceeded 200 000 SCC on the first herd test. Because of the Staph aureus issue in the herd last season we are culturing all high SCC cows to determine the extent of the infection in the herd. This will be routine until we have a good profile for the herd.

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:

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