2018/19 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 2nd May 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 2nd May 2019

Kale Fodder beet
Soil temp (C) 9.5
Rainfall (mm) 21
Milker Intake Target (kg DM/cow) 16
Av. Kg MS/cow/day 1.16 (- 0.06) 1.05 (NC)
Average milk fat (%) 6.35 (+ 0.32) 6.20 (+ 0.1)
Average milk prot (%) 5.04 (+ 0.11) 5.08 (+ 0.1)
Average SCC (cells/ml) 179 (- 14) 191 (- 8)
Animal Summary Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Pink Blue Green Yellow
Milkers – OAD 155 152 162 139
Other/Penos 3 1 6 0
DRY 1 1

Key Decisions: this week

  • Manage rotation length close to 40 days and provide supplement as required to meet target intake.
  • Fodder beet transitioning has started to the Std and LI fodder beet herds at 1 kg DM/cow/day. Will increase by 1 kg DM every second day as long as all the cows are eating it. Beet will be fed out through the silage wagon daily once all the cows have returned from milking.
  • Started transitioning the R1’s onto fodder beet. They are grazing under a wire from the adjacent pasture paddock where they are receiving baleage and a small amount of pasture. Bulbs will be chopped to encourage the calves to eat them.
  • Effluent applications to continue on both the top and bottom terraces as soil conditions allow.
  • Dry off any early calving and/or young cows that are below BCS target.
  • Complete the autumn feed budget for the R1 kale calves until end of May

Figure 1: R1’s transitioning onto fodder beet at the support block

General Notes:

  • Growth rates were lower than we expected across the farms; a proportion of paddocks had no measured increase in cover over the last 7 days.
  • One of the batches of baleage has been set aside for feeding to springers due to a high proportion of red shank
  • Both the LI kale and LI FB herd APC has dropped significantly this week so the amount of supplement being offered will be increased to hold the rotation and not graze the pastures below residual
  • Crop paddocks for 2019 have been finalised and we will be working with our technical advisors to get the fertility levels right before planting
  • Bale placement measurements have been completed for 3 of the remaining 5 paddocks to be set up with winter crop so bales will be placed in these over the next couple of weeks.
  • We have concerns around the quality of the feed being offered to the R1’s on the support block following the weighing of the animals this week. Liveweight gain over the last 3 weeks was below target so the feed allocation (especially for the kale animals that are still on pasture and baleage) is being revisited so that we get them back on track.
  • The spring feed budget has been completed and as a result we will be carrying forward 55 and 45 bales baleage for each of the Std and LI farmlets respectively.
  • Currently completing a silage inventory for all the herds/classes of stock to make sure we have sufficient supplement on hand for autumn, winter and spring.

Animal Health

  • Lameness is an on-going issue with the majority of cases being stone bruising. The laneways adjacent to the dairy have become quite wet and mucky in the last month.
  • The R2’s received a copper injection plus a long acting selenium injection. They will receive their lepto vaccination and be collared, tagged and have pre winter bloods, liveweight and their final stature measurements
  • We are still waiting on the results of the full herd Johnes testing completed at the herd test on the 16th April. One cow blood tested for Johnes has come back negative.
  • R1’s were treated with 10 ml of eclipse for parasite control.

People Management and Visitors

  • Our annual farm stock and feed audit count has been completed
  • The SDRF board met on Monday
  • 25 Regional Council Sector Chairmen and Chief Executives from across New Zealand hosted by Guy, Ross Monaghan and Chris Smith

Research on-farm

  • The AgR autumn grazed N leaching plots in pdk 52 will be grazed at the end of next week once the cows are transitioned to 3 kg DM/cow. Plots will be grazed over 2 days because of the yield in each plot. FB has been lifted from the gateway to the plots to provide an access way to get the cows in.
  • The R1’s were weighed and split into fodder beet and kale mobs. Blood samples and stature measurements were completed on the fodder beet calves ahead of them starting transition onto beet. The kale calves will be sampled in a couple of weeks’ time.
  • Our final estimate of N intake and excretion for the season is happening next week. This will be slightly less chaotic as we will only be sampling in the morning now that the cows are on OAD milking.

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/