2017/18 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 26th March 2018
Sunrise at the Hub
(courtesy of B Williams, Hub 2ic)
Week ending 26th March 2018
Table 1: Key Numbers week ending 26th March 2018
|Av. Pasture Cover||2730 kg DM/ha|
|Round Length||42 days|
|Pasture Growth rate||69 kg DM/day|
|Soil temp||13 C|
|No. of cows milking||641 cows|
|Av. Supplement used (milkers)||0.250 kg DM/cow/day|
|Av. Kg MS/cow/day||1.36 kg MS/cow/day|
|Av. Kg MS/ha||3.6 kg MS/ha|
- 1 fodder beet paddock has had a small portion lifted to allow 1 fodder beet herd at a time access to graze (refer notes under herd management)
- 250 gms/cow/milking concentrate offered in-shed to all cows, 1kg/cow/milking to all cows at or below BCS 4
- Cow BCS 4.6 average whole herd (14% herd at or below BCS 4 last test)
- Second fungicide spray completed on half the fodder beet crop (refer notes under crops)
Critical Targets this week
- Sample cows in Staph mob to confirm culling decisions
- Tail scoring to check any damaged tails as part of farm policy
- Confirm cull cows space booked for later in the autumn
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||2.6|
|Production (to the factory) (28/02/18)|
|Total Milksolids (YTD)||kgMS||220,505|
|Total Milksolids (MTD)||kgMS||21,668|
|Total Milksolids (last 7 days)||kgMS||5,289|
|Average per cow daily production (last 7 days)||kgMS/cow/day||1.36|
|Per ha production (last 7 days)||kgMS/ha||3.4|
|Other (to the factory)|
|Protein:Fat Ratio (7-day avg.)||%||0.81|
|Milk Urea (7-day avg.)||mg/dl||25.1|
|SCC (7-day avg.)||cells/ml||140,000|
|Fat Evaluation Index (FEI)||A|
|Fonterra 17/18 Forecast||$/kgMS||$6.55|
- Milking frequency will remain at 3in2 due to staff preference. Lighter cows at or below BCS 4 are offered preferiential feeding in the shed (refer notes in weekly summary).
- Slow release Copper bolus required in the next 3 months prior to going on crop
- Empty heifers have left farm
- 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 back hitting residual targets now settled on a 42-day round.
- Cows each offered in-shed 250gm concentrate (50/50 PKE: Barley) to encourage cow flow, cows BCS 4 or less offered 1kg/milking
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||2730|
|Growth Rate (avg. over 4 farmlets)||kgDM/ha/day||69|
|Rotation Length (avg. over 4 farmlets)||days||42|
|Area Available for grazing (milkers)||ha||252|
|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 69kg DM/ha/day which matches warmer days, soil temp back to 13 degrees and 20mm rainfall.
- PGGWrightson agronomy advise was to consider a fungicide spray on the beet crops. The Hub has sprayed half our crops to cover risk. The spray has a with-holding period of 42 days no grazing post spraying so we could not spray all the area as we had planned some autumn grazing of beet with the beet herds.
- The spray requirement was 2 sprays a month apart for best results. Second spray completed by helicopter this week.
- Application of effluent occurs most days (as conditions allow) with the aim to keep the pond at or below 15% full for the autumn. This is effectively as low as the pond can be pumped and is the % full measured at this point.
Table 5: Nitrogen use on Farm
|Nitrogen (Urea only)(last 7 days)||Unit|
|Area (Winter crop)||ha|
|Fertiliser (last 7 days)||Unit|
|Rainfall (total last 7 days)||mm||13|
|Soil Temp (7-day average) @10am||°C||20|
- 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:
- Nearing the end of our FarmTune programme with DairyNZ.