Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

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.

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