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Latest Farm Walk Notes

Farm Walks are held every Tuesday morning throughout the year. They start at 9.00am sharp so be there by 8.50am. Farmers or their managers and staff are welcome to walk with the Management Team, bring your platemeter and clean gumboots. Please phone the SIDDC office to notify of your intention: Ph: 03 423 0022.

The farm walk notes are a commentary covering the main points discussed at the weekly farm meeting held by the LUDF Management Team.  

During the milking season the farm walk notes are updated at weekly intervals, during the off-season this may occur monthly.

Tuesday 23 February 2021

This week:

Production 1.8 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 543

Growth 70 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2398 KgDm/ha

Round length 27 days

Rainfall 4mm

SCC 104,000

Supplements fed 1.5KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 15.9 ⁰C

6 week in-calf rate 66%*

*See Mating section below for more details

Feed wedge 23 Feb:

 

 

 

More details: herds and feed

Herd Management

Main herd: 478 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 37 lower BCS cows + 28 lames, milked once a day

Latest BCS figures: average 4.3, as at 23 February 2021

Growing Conditions

4mm rainfall this week. 4 days irrigation on North block, 3 days irrigation on South block.

Soil temperature for the last 2 weeks:

Soil moisture for the last 2 weeks (measured at North block this week):

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,398 KgDM/ha

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet: 3,319 KgDM/ha for 18.5 KgDM/cow/day on 28 day round (5.71 ha/day)

We fed out some balage this week (weekly average 1.5 KgDM/cow/day) to help extend round length heading into Autumn.

Still very high clover content on farm.

We are now following the cows with N at 25 KgN/ha, after a break in N application in January.

Mating

Heifer mating

R2 heifers were preg tested on 17th December, with 144 out of 165 confirmed pregnant in the first 5 weeks (87%). 

Bulls were removed from heifers 19 December, for a total 10 weeks of mating.

Milking herd mating

Preg Test on 5th January confirmed 66%  6 week in calf rate for cows in milk, with 19% empty.

The heifers suffered from an outbreak of severe respiratory disease in December which dragged on for several weeks.  They presented with coughing in a high percentage of the cohort, several lost weight and went off their milk, about 6 were dried off and 3 needed to be destroyed.  These 3 were all necropsied and samples sent to Gribbles.   The initial tests for IBR were all negative; however culture of the lungs from a dead cow revealed Histophilus somnus.  The histopathology findings on the lungs were also typical of H. somnus.  MPI are interested in this case because H somnus seems to be an emerging pathogen in South Island dairy herds and LUDF is now about the 5th herd presenting with this syndrome.  The severity of this condition in the LUDF herd would account for the disappointing 6 week in-calf rate in the two year olds.This resulted in 27% of our two year olds being empty, which has considerably impacted the overall herd in-calf rate.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

This week:

Production 1.8 Kg MS/cow/day

Cows in milk 543

Growth 65 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2353

Round length 25 days

Rainfall none

SCC 101,000

Supplements fed 2.2Kg/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 16.6 ⁰C

6 week in-calf rate 66%

Feed Wedge 9 February

More details: herds and feed

Herd Management

Main herd: 485 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 37 lower BCS cows + 21 lames, milked once a day

Latest BCS figures: average 4.2, as at 18 January 2021

Growing Conditions

No rain this week. 4 days irrigation on North block, 3 days irrigation on South block.

Soil temperature for the last 2 weeks:

 

Soil moisture for the last 2 weeks (measured at North block this week):

 

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,353 KgDM/ha

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet: 3,121 KgDM/ha for 19 KgDM/cow/day on 25 day round (6.4ha/day)

We fed a small amount of balage this week (weekly average 2.2 KgDM/cow/day) to maintain round length. First supplement used since late October.

Still very high clover content on farm.

We are now following the cows with N at 25 KgN/ha, after a break in N application in January.

Tuesday 2 February 2021

LUDF – focus for 2020/21 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, optimise profit.

Farm system comprises 3.5 cows/ha (peak milked), Target up to 170kgN/ha, 300kgDM/cow imported supplement, plus winter most cows off farm. FWE of less than $1.1 million and Target production of over 500kgMS/cow (>100% liveweight in milk production).

 

Critical issues for the short term
  1. Managing average pasture cover / cow intakes / residuals
  2. Monitor Soil moisture and irrigate accordingly

 

Key points:

Growth 73 KgDM

Farm cover 2354

Round length 24 days

Cows averaged 1.74 Kg MS

543 cows in milk

66% 6 week in calf

18.4 mm of rain over the last week

Very high clover content across farm

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Ave Past Cover

 

2354 KgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

73 kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

24(for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

548

Ave Soil Temp (week)

16.6 ⁰C

SCC

104,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.74 kgMS

Protein / Fat

.81

Milk Fat – 5.23

Milk Protein -4.23

Herd Management

  • There are 543 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  • Currently running 2 herds. One herd of 490 and a small herd consisting of 37 light cows and 15 lames, which are being milked once a day.
  • BCS of cows in milk was done on Tuesday 18th January, showing an average of 4.2 BCS. See graphs below.

 

Mating

  • R2 heifers were preg tested on 17th December. 144 out of 165 confirmed pregnant in the first 5 weeks (87%).
  • Bulls removed from heifers 19 December. Total 10 weeks of mating.
  • Preg Test on 5th January confirmed 66%  6 week in calf rate for cows in milk. Original conception rate was 71%, but a significant number of pregnancies appear to have been lost in late December, thought to be from an IBR outbreak (respiratory illness). R3s were the worst hit.

Growing Conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 16.6 °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).