2018/19 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 26th 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 26th April 2019

Kale Fodder beet
Soil temp (C) 10.6
Rainfall (mm) 4.4
Milker Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 16.0
Av. Kg MS/cow/day 1.22 (+ 0.11) 1.05 (- 0.08)
Average milk fat (%) 6.03 (+ 0.23) 6.10 (+ 0.34)
Average milk prot (%) 4.60 (+ 0.32) 4.62 (+ 0.36)
Average SCC (cells/ml) 193 (+ 61) 199 (+ 48)
Animal Summary Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Milkers – OAD 152 151 163 140
Other/Penos 6 2 5 0
DRY 1 1

Key Decisions: this week

  • With continued feeding of supplement, the APC has remained stable this week. Cows have been cleaning up their baleage well. This has been made easier due to the good weather conditions. It has been decided to continue the same supplement allocation until FB is added to the system once the silage wagon is fixed.
  • Residuals have lifted in some paddocks’ so supplement amount and time per paddock will be monitored and adjusted as necessary
  • When we start feeding beet in the paddock we will be able to plan when we next lift more beet. The aim is to lift approximately every 10 days during late lactation. The next area we will target is a small area at the front of paddock 48 where we want to lift through what we believe could be a wet area adjacent to a Critical Source Area (CSA). This will reduce soil damage compared to grazing over winter. Whilst the ground will then be left bare over winter there is a protected CSA between this paddock and the creek.

Figure 1: LI FB cows enjoying their baleage on a sunny Autumn day


  • Due to an equipment problem the feeding of FB has been delayed with hopes to start feeding at the end of the week. 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. The DM% of the lifted FB bulb has been measured at 15% so we will be able to calculate how much wet weight fodder beet to be feeding through the wagon.
  • The last round of scanning has been booked for mid-May. It is important to identify any empty cows that have slipped or re-absorbed since the first scan so they are not carried through the winter.
  • The last 30% of Urea is due to be applied to the Std. Farmlets this morning. This application was later than anticipated and something that needs to be rectified for next season as our plan was to have all N applications completed by the 10th April at the latest. Thankfully soil temperatures are still above 10 C and growth rates are around 30-40 kg DM/day.
  • Effluent will start to be applied to the bottom terrace effluent block next week via the old original Alliance effluent pipe network. We have had a couple of issues to clarify with this network that needed to be checked before we started pushing effluent through under pressure.

General Notes:

  • The x19 crop paddocks were yielded last week. From these yields crop allocations can be determined when transitioning onto FB. The table below shows the yield results across the paddocks ranging 16.4 to 25.7 t DM for FB, and 9.7 to 15.5 t DM for kale.


Table 3: Crop yield measurements

Fodder beet Kale
Paddock Yield (t DM) Paddock Yield (t DM)
6 16.4 5 14.8
22 16.4 7 15.5
35 18.7 8 12.1
48 21.5 9 13.9
50 17.8 47 14.5
52 17.9 57 12.8
98 25.7 65 11.8
R10 21.5 103 11.1
R11 24 R1 10.4
R3 9.7
  • The FB crops averaged 100 kg DM/day growth since March while the Kale crops averaged 140 kg DM/day over the same period
  • The average proportion of leaf in the FB has dropped from 34% to 27 % since early March
  • R2s will be off to their new grazing at the start of May.

Animal Health

  • The SCC has fluctuated in both fodder beet and kale vats since going to OAD milking as expected. The farm team are stripping one quarter/cow daily during milking and are picking up and treating some clinical mastitis.

People Management and Visitors

  • No visitors this week
  • Our annual farm stock and feed audit count is due next week

Research on-farm

  • Paige Harris, our Lincoln University Honours student was on farm for a visit this week. Her honours project will be monitoring the performance of the R1’s on crop over the winter period.

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: