2020/21 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 5th November 2020

Table 1: Farmlet feed wedges and general information

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


  1. Dashed target line is for 19 kg DM/cow/day pasture allocation

Table 1: Key Herd Numbers 5/11/2020 – percentage of the herd in each mob

DATE: 5th Nov 2020 Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB Total
Current Herd Numbers 197 163 196 165 721
Milking into vat 195 159 190 159 703
Sick/penos 2 4 6 6 18

Table 2: Key Weather and Feeding Numbers 5/11/2020

Soil temp (C) 11.8
Rainfall (mm) 10.2
Allocations Kg DM/cow/day Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Milkers 17 kg pasture + 2 kg inshed 19 kg DM pasture 18 kg DM pasture + 1 kg FB 18 kg DM pasture + 1 kg FB

Key Decisions: this week

  • Supplementary feed has been reduced to 2 kg DM/cow/day in the Std kale and 1 kg DM/cow/day for the Std and LI FB herds with no supplement being offered to the LI Kale cows.
  • Although the FB herds could move to a pasture only diet based on the feed wedge, after much debate we have decided to keep 1 kg DM in each herd just in case we have to increase the allocation, especially for the LI FB as they have had 25% of their farmlet conserved in the last 10 days so depending on what growth does, could experience a shortfall.
  • With the exception of 8 T DM (3 weeks allocation at 1 kg DM/cow/day for the 2 beet herds) we will look to sell all of the remaining lifted fodder beet if a buyer can be found.

Figure 1: Not sure this cow needs fodder beet supplements!!??


  • Nitrogen applications, as ammo 31, will continue on the Std farmlets to complete the 2nd round of applications
  • X1 paddock per farmlet will be pre-graze mowed this week – 2 are above the target line with high base residual and 2 are on the target line but need their residual to be reset
  • Post graze topping will continue to be utilised if required to reset residuals in specific paddocks after grazing

General Notes:

  • The first day of mating saw 81 cows being submitted across the 4 herds so that was an awesome start. We need to submit 31 per day to achieve a 90% submission rate
  • 5 paddocks were conserved as baleage this week – x3 for the LI FB and x2 for the LI Kale. Cumulative bales made are summarised below.

Table 3: Baleage conserved season to date for 2020-21

Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Bales made 0 31 0 48
  • Springer paddocks have had their last grazing and will be sprayed out next week in preparation for establishing our 2021 crops
  • Stem elongation and seedhead emergence is being observed across the farm pushing up the post grazing plate measurements. We need to be proactive in managing feed allocation and residuals to maximise quality in the next rotation.
  • x2 of our 2020 winter crop paddocks have been regrassed this week with another 6 (75%) still to be planted.
  • Milk production for the FB herds have continued to be significantly below the kale herds this week and we are trying to understand why as residuals suggest they are not too tight for feed. We have assessed the lifted fodder beet and discovered that some in the middle of the stack has deteriorated in quality so will be removed and dumped.

Figure 2: Milk production kg MS/cow/day for each farmlet


  • Average BCS for the herds is the same however there is a difference in the distribution across the BCS range (Figure 2)

Figure 3: Herd BCS profiles for the herds this week


  • The solids behind the weeping wall has been removed this week and spread on 4 of the crop paddocks that are going back into grass. A sample has been collected for nutrient analysis.
  • Last week we received the results of our liquid effluent analysis. For a 10 mm application we are applying
    • 20 kg N/ha (nitrogen)
    • 6.1 kg P/ha (phosphorus)
    • 53 kg K/ha (potassium)
  • All the calves are now over at the support block and all were weighed this week with the first 75 weaned. The average growth rate since the last weighing was 0.7 kg/day They have been split into 5 mobs
    • Smallest animals are less than 65 kg – 46 calves
    • Green group are 65-74 kg – 48 calves
    • Pink group are 75-84 kg – 44 calves
    • Yellow group are 85-99kg – 48 calves
    • Blue group are >100 kg – 75 calves

Animal Health

  • We are continuing to get a handful of lame cows each week with the majority of them having stone bruising or stones lodged in the hoof
  • We lost a Std FB cow with a right displaced abomasum and a LI FB with a gut infection
  • X1 LI FB cow went down in the paddock and was treated for metabolic disease.

People Management and Visitors

  • We are very excited to have Alice join the tech team as a casual this week. Alice will support the technicians with the weekly farm walk plus helping with herd testing and other pasture measurements.

Research on-farm

  • The first area of our winter crop establishment demonstration has been sprayed out and ripped in preparation for planting

Figure 4: Sprayed out and ripped area in 2021 fodder beet paddock

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: