2021/22 Season HUB Weekly Farm Update as at 6 January 2022

Farmlet feed wedges and general information

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

Table 1: Key Herd Numbers 06/01/2022 – number of cows in each mob

DATE: 06 Jan 2021 Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB Total
Cows on Farm 192 160 193 160 705
Milkers TAD 171 143 172 151 637
Milkers OAD 17 13 20 8 58
Sick OAD 4 4 1 1 10
Slips/empty/deaths 9 6 16 6 37

Table 2: Key Weather and Feeding Numbers 6th January 2022

Soil temp (C) 19.0
Rainfall (mm) 23.6 mm
Allocations Kg DM/cow/day Std Kale LI Kale Std FB LI FB
Milkers 18 kg DM
15 kg pasture
3 kg DM PKE
18 kg DM
15 kg pasture
3 kg DM PKE
18 kg DM
16 kg pasture
1 kg DM PKE
1 bale baleage/day
(1.1 kg DM/cow)
18 kg DM
16 kg pasture
1.6 kg DM PKE
1 bale baleage/day
(1.1 kg DM/cow)

Key Decisions and Why?

  • All herds will receive straight PKE for the next week as we wait on a new load of PKE:barley blend for the kale herds
    • the next batch of blend will be 70%PKE: 30% barley due to a supply issue with barley. The previous blend has been a 50:50 mix
  • PKE is now required for the LI FB herd based on a drop in average pasture cover and the need for baleage top-ups throughout the week as pre-graze covers were below target for a pasture only diet
  • Both fodder beet herds will be offered 1 bale baleage/day on top of the PKE to achieve the desired total DM intake of 18 kg/cow.day. 
  • No nitrogen to be applied to the Std farmlets again this week due to lack of soil moisture
  • Topping will be minimised as conditions remain dry. The cows will be put back into paddocks to eat any good quality residual above 1600 kg DM/ha. Only paddocks with multi-round residual issues will be considered for topping
  • Rotation length will remain at 30+ days for all herds.
  • The LI FB herd currently has 2 fewer paddocks than the other herds due to their regrassed paddocks being later established and not yet ready for grazing. They will have one grazing from the ‘spare’ paddock and x2 grazings from pdk 64 as compensation

General Notes

  • Milk production for the Std FB herd took a dive this week following the grazing of the pdk we opted to pre-graze mow rather than conserve last week. Production for the kale herds remains more consistent with the inshed feeding option. The LIFB herd continues to fluctuate the most based on which paddock they are grazing. 

Figure 1: Daily milk solids per cow production for the last 3 weeks

Figure 2: Weekly milk solids per cow production for the season to day

  • The bulls continue to be rotated through the herds. Over the last week there have been x2 Std Kale, x8 LI Kale, x6 Std FB and x2 LI FB cows observed as cycling from tail paint removal
  • There are still x2 new grass paddocks that are still too immature for grazing.
  • Pasture growth through December and early Jan has been lower than the same period last year for all farmlets but specifically for the LI farmlets. Trends are very similar to the Woodlands growth rate

Figure 3: Average monthly pasture growth season to date

Figure 4: Woodlands growth rate summary season to date

  • Cumulative rainfall season to date has dropped below last season by 30 mm. This deviation has occurred in the last 2 weeks. Soil temperature is still tracking 1-2 °C higher than the same period last year

Figure 5: Season to date rainfall

Young Stock

  • Calves will be weighed and drenched this week and split into 2 mobs with 120 healthy calves above 120 kg liveweight being sent off to grazing. The remainder will stay at the support block
  • DNA results on the replacements are in and of the 208 animals tested we have 186 with correct parentage (89%), 18 (9%) with dam only match and 4 (2%) that require retesting due to insufficient sample

Animal Health

  • We continue to get a couple of cases of lameness each week. Following checking and treating if required these animals hang out in the peno mob close to the shed on OAD milking until they are fit to go back to their respective mobs.

SDH Research/Demonstration

  • Like many others the science team have taken a well-deserved break over the last 2 weeks so there is nothing to report this week. 

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:

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