Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

Blog

LUDDF Winter Focus Days - Save the date

Posted by on 26 May 2016

Bringing the LUDDF farm and management team to a region near you. The team will be hosting 4 events at various locations on the below dates:

Read the full post

LUDDF year end results 2015/16 season

Posted by on 24 May 2016

LUDF dried of all remaining cows on 23 May 2016, finishing a very productive 2015-16 season. 

Read the full post

Farm Walk Notes 18th March 2014

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 19 March 2014

We have made some significant changes at LUDF over the last 2 weeks to enable the milking platform to stay within its historical Nitrogen load this season and to comply with the intent of the (ECAN) Land and Water Regional Plan.
 
We have so far dried off 74 MT’s and 9 culls. We have also put the small herd (234 earlier calving light BCS cows) onto OAD to ensure that they achieve their CS target at drying off and will achieve their CS targets at calving. Over the next week we will dry off a further 15 lower producing cows. Feeding the remaining cows 18kgDM/cow/day requires a growth rate of 60kg DM/ha/day; the stocking rate will now be 3.3 cows/ha. In essence LUDF is choosing to balance feed supply and demand by reducing demand, rather than increasing supply through importing more silage (with the subsequent additional N brought onto the platform).
 
The whole herd has gained 3kg live weight in the past week. The monitor group of 347 early MA cows have gained 2kg, and the younger cows [2011 born] have also gained 2kg live weight. Note: the make up of these groups has changed over the week as cows were dried off.
 
There are now 297 cows in the main herd and 234 in the small herd and 4 lame cows. This gives a total of 531 cows milking into the vat this morning.  There are 4 treatment cows. Average bulk milk SCC was 180.
 
Average daily milk solids production per cow (all cows milked into the vat) is 1.53kgMS/cow, 0.04 kg/ cow/day less than last week. Daily production per hectare was 5.08 kg MS/ha (vs 5.54kgMS/ha last week).
 
9 am average soil temperature was 16 degrees 2.5 degree warmer than last week. The farm had 8.2 mm rain over the week.
 
This weeks measured average pasture cover is 2482 kgDM/ha up 48kg DM/ha, from last week. Our estimated average daily pasture growth rate for the last week has been 76 kg DM/ha. This week we have a predicted surplus of 9 T DM. The round length has increased by 2 days over the week to 23 days. No silage has been fed this week. With what is looking like a cooler than average autumn setting in we will look to push the round out and hold it above 24 days this week. We have applied nitrogen [urea] to 37 ha of recently grazed pastures at 25kg N/ha.
 
The herd was body condition scored 10 days ago, average was 4.3 and 10% were below BCS 4.0 these are not as good as we would like. We had expected the average BCS to have started to trend upwards. We have already put low BCS, early calving cows in the small herd to assist with their body condition and will continue to monitor cows as ensure consistency of feeding towards BCS targets later in the season. We note that we have more low BCS cows so will be monitoring and acting on feeding thin cows intensively.
 

Read the full post

Canterbury North Otage Dairy Industry Awards

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 10 March 2014

Tags: , ,

The 2014 Canterbury and North Otago Dairy Industry Awards were held at Lincoln last night. Congratulations to the winners including Adam Vollebregt, the 2IC at LUDF who was 3rd place in the Dairy Trainee of the Year category.

Adam started at LUDF in 2012 as farm assistant, and has confidently stepped up to the role of 2IC for the 2013/14 season.

Congratulations Adam from all the team and SIDDC and LUDF.

Read the full post

Farm Walk Update - 27 February 2014

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 27 February 2014

Tags: ,

This week we have 384 cows in the main herd and 237 in the small herd. This gives a total of 621 cows milking into the vat this morning.  We have 1 Treatment cow.
The whole herd has lost 5kg live weight in the past week. The monitor group of 347 early MA cows lost 4kg, and the younger cows [2011 born] have lost 2kg live weight.
Average bulk milk SCC was 152.

Average daily milk solids production per cow (all cows milked into the vat) is 1.71kgMS/cow, 0.09 kg/ cow/day less than last week. Daily production per hectare was 6.66 kg MS/ha.
This weeks measured average pasture cover is 2450 kgDM/ha down 70 kg DM/ha, from last week.
Our estimated average daily pasture growth rate for the last week has been 62 kg DM/ha, another week where growth is less than demand.
In spite of this we still have a predicted surplus of 10.4 T DM. The round length has lengthened by 1 day over the week to 21 days. No silage has been fed this week. We will look to hold the round above 20 days range until the end of the week [next Tuesday].
We have applied nitrogen [urea] to 42.4 ha of recently grazed pastures at 25kg N/ha.

Our plan for the rest of the season is evolving at this time and we expect to make some significant changes to enable us to operate within our Nitrogen loss baseline.  We have fed no silage this week and no mowing was done.

The herd was body condition scored last week, average was 4.1 and 7.4% were below BCS 4.0 these are not as good as we would like. We had expected the average BCS to have started to trend upwards. We have already put low BCS, early calving cows in the small herd to assist with their body condition and will continue to monitor cows as ensure consistency of feeding towards BCS targets later in the season.

See full Farm Walk Notes and data here:

Read the full post

LUDF Focus Day

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 18 February 2014

Tags: ,

REMINDER: LUDF Focus Day this Thursday!

•  78% - 6 week Incalf at LUDF this season
•  Impact LWRP and Selwyn Waihora Sub Chapter

Find out more at the:
Lincoln University Dairy Farm [LUDF] Focus Day:
Thursday, 20th February 2014, 10.15 am – 1.00 pm at LUDF
Followed by a light lunch sponsored by Ravensdown. Flyer Attached.
 
Topic:    Tipping Point?
The financial reality of farming without Eco-n, less clover and less Nitrogen Fertiliser?
Also:
• LUDF Update:
o Profit – YTD End Jan / Forecast End
o Managing low growth rates, less pasture cover, Cow Condition and Milk Production
o N Use / Supplement Use
o Reproductive Performance
•         ECAN – Changes required by the Land and Water Plan
• And - Selwyn/Waihora sub-regional section (Variation 1)
 
All welcome!

Read the full post

Farm Walk Updates - 2 Feb 2014

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 4 February 2014

9 am average soil temperature was 16.4 degrees a full degree warmer than last week and more like what we would expect at this time of year. 
The farm had no rain over the week. We have irrigated 5 days on the North block and 4 days on the South block. The Aquaflex soil moisture meters indicate that the soils moisture range is between 50 and 90% of field capacity.

This weeks measured average pasture cover is 2512 kgDM/ha up 159 kg DM/ha, from last week. Our estimated average daily pasture growth rate
for the last week has been 90 kg DM/ha.  Last week the predicted deficit was 2.5 t DM, this week we have a predicted surplus of 19 T DM. Much of this sits towards the bottom end of the wedge, so we must be vigilant in monitoring growth across the farm. The round length has been pushed out to 24 days this week. We will continue to use silage as necessary to hold the round at or above this length.  We are reducing our daily silage allocation to around 3 kg DM/cow/day and will review silage inputs again towards the end of the week.

We have applied nitrogen [urea] to 35.9ha of recently grazed pastures at 25kg N/ha this week.
We have fed 20.9 T DM of silage this week [4.8 kg DM/cow/day] and have increased the rotation length by 2 days and lifted apc.

Our plan is to continue feeding cows as well as we can, particularly early calving low body condition cows, whilst concentrating on ensuring good pasture quality and production going forward. We will do this by achieving even and consistent residuals of 1550 - 1700 kg DM/ha and holding a round length long enough to get our pre graze pasture to a 2.5 leaf stage.
Average bulk milk SCC is 152
Average daily milk
solids production per cow (all cows milked into the vat) is 1.82kgMS/cow, much the same as last week. Daily production per hectare was 7.01 kg MS/ha.

Click here for full Farm Walk Notes and Data: http://www.siddc.org.nz/files/LUDF-FWN-WKLY-Update.pdf

Read the full post