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Latest Farm Walk Notes

Farm Walks are held every second 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. Boots must be disinfected on entering the property (recommended when leaving as well). Please email office@siddc.org.nz to notify your intention.

Upcoming farm walk dates: 

25 May

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 fortnightly intervals, during the off-season this may occur monthly.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

This week:

Production 1.39 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 432

Growth 26 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2317 KgDm/ha

Round length 26 days

Rainfall 11.6mm

SCC 126,000

Supplements fed 0 KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 10 ⁰C

 

Herd Management

Main herd: 370 M.A. cows

Small herd: 54 lower BCS cows + 8 lames, milked once a day

Most culls have now left the farm.

We will be doing our final herd pregnancy test on 20 May to check for any late slips. This will prevent us from wintering cows that won't be in milk next season.

Dry-off date will be 27 May. Any cows that have exceeded the SCC threshold on herd test results plus any treatment cows during lactation will receive Dry Cow antibiotics plus teat seal. Cows that haven't exceeded the SCC threshold will receive teat seal only. This will be done with help from our vets to ensure a very high standard of hygiene. Cows will be trucked to winter grazing on the same day. Cows will be monitored very closely for the first few days for any signs of mastitis.

Latest BCS figures: average 4.5, as at 10 May. These results will be used to set up groups for wintering according to condition. We will have 3 mobs: Lights that need to gain 1 Body Condition Score, Mids that need to gain half a BCS, and Fats that will be fed maintenance rates over winter.

Cows will be going to their winter grazing this Thursday the 30 th. MA Cows will be wintered in 3 mobs this winter.

  1. 170 light early calving cows will be offered 16 Kg made up of 4kg silage and 12Kg kale
  2. 168 mid-range cows (@4.5 BCS) will be offered 14 KgDM – 4 Kg silage and 10 Kg Kale
  3. 85 Fats will be offered 2 Kg silage and 9 Kale .

Growing Conditions

11.6mm rainfall this week. No irrigation on farm this week.

Soil temperature is dropping slowly, with this week's average at 10°C.

Growth rates have dropped to 26 kgDM/ha/day.

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,097 KgDM/ha, which is just slightly above target. Aiming for closing cover of 1900 on 1 June. We have not fed any balage this week as we are still bringing the cover down towards this target.

We have now finished applying N fertiliser for the season.

Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 6 months. The plan is to finish the season with an Average Pasture Cover of 1900Kg DM/ha. This is anticipating similar winter growth as in recent years (and acknowledges the amount of the farm in more winter active - hybrid perennial ryegrasses). The target APC at the end of July remains at 2600kgDM/ha and requires an average growth rate over the winter of 11.5kgDM/ha/day during June and July.

 

Feed Wedge

Tuesday 4 May 2021

This week:

Production 1.5 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 468

Growth 37 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2317 KgDm/ha

Round length 37 days

Rainfall 3.6mm

SCC 114,000

Supplements fed 4.6 KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 9.6 ⁰C

 

Herd Management

Main herd: 401 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 51 lower BCS cows + 17 lames, milked once a day

75 culls have left the farm and another 40 are going this Friday.

We will be doing our final herd pregnancy test on 17 May to check for any late slips. This will prevent us from wintering cows that won't be in milk next season.

Dry-off date will be 27 May. Any cows that have exceeded the SCC threshold on herd test results plus any treatment cows during lactation will receive Dry Cow antibiotics plus teat seal. Cows that haven't exceeded the SCC threshold will receive teat seal only. This will be done with help from our vets to ensure a very high standard of hygiene. Cows will be trucked to winter grazing on the same day. Cows will be monitored very closely for the first few days for any signs of mastitis.

Latest BCS figures: average 4.4, as at 29 March 2021. Final assessment will be done on 10 May to set up groups for wintering according to condition. We will have 3 mobs: Lights that need to gain 1 Body Condition Score, Mids that need to gain half a BCS, and Fats that will be fed maintenance rates over winter.

Growing Conditions

3.6mm rainfall this week. No irrigation on farm this week.

Average soil temperature dropped significantly this fortnight from 12.8°C to 9.6°C. We have had a full week of very heavy frosts.

Growth rates have dropped from the unusually high 56 kgDM/ha/day 2 weeks ago, to 37 kgDM/ha/day.

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,317 KgDM/ha, which is still about 100kg above target. Aiming for closing cover of 1900 on 1 June, so will need to see this come down over the next weeks. Can achieve this by feeding less balage. Average balage this week has been 6.6 KgDM/cow/dayz, so this can be pulled back as needed.

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet (calculated based on cow numbers after all culls have gone next week, i.e. 425 cows): 3,162 KgDM/ha/day entry cover needed, for 17 KgDM/cow/day on minimum 33 day round (4.84 ha/day).

We have now finished applying N fertiliser for the season.

Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 6 months. The plan is to finish the season with an Average Pasture Cover of 1900Kg DM/ha. This is anticipating similar winter growth as in recent years (and acknowledges the amount of the farm in more winter active - hybrid perennial ryegrasses). The target APC at the end of July remains at 2600kgDM/ha and requires an average growth rate over the winter of 11.5kgDM/ha/day during June and July.

Feed Wedge

Current feed wedge, with demand line based on cow numbers after all culls have gone on Friday 7 May.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

This week:

Production 1.5 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 540

Growth 56 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2488 KgDm/ha

Round length 38 days

Rainfall 18mm

SCC 108,000

Supplements fed 6.6 KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 12.8 ⁰C

 

Herd Management

Main herd: 469 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 51 lower BCS cows + 20 lames, milked once a day

Latest BCS figures: average 4.4, as at 29 March 2021

Most of the 100 cull cows have now left the farm.

Growing Conditions

18mm rainfall this week. No irrigation on farm this week.

Average soil temperature starting to come down now. 12.8°C average this week, down nearly 2°C in the last fortnight.

Growth rates have been unusually high at 56 kgDM/ha/day.

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,488 KgDM/ha, which is about 100kg above target. Aiming for closing cover of 1900 on 1 June, so will need to see this come down over the next weeks. Can achieve this by feeding less balage. Average balage this week has been 6.6 KgDM/cow/dayz, so this can be pulled back as needed.

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet (calculated based on cow numbers after all culls have gone next week): 3,261 KgDM/ha/day entry cover needed, for 17 KgDM/cow/day on 33 day round (4.84 ha/day)

We are following the cows with N at 25 KgN/ha.

Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 6 months. The plan is to finish the season with an Average Pasture Cover of 1900Kg DM/ha. This is anticipating similar winter growth as in recent years (and acknowledges the amount of the farm in more winter active - hybrid perennial ryegrasses). The target APC at the end of July remains at 2600kgDM/ha and requires an average growth rate over the winter of 11.5kgDM/ha/day during June and July.

Feed Wedge

Tuesday 6 April

This week:

Production 1.6 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 540

Growth 57 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2441 KgDm/ha

Round length 33 days

Rainfall 2.4mm

SCC 124,000

Supplements fed 5 KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 14.5 ⁰C

 

Herd Management

Main herd: 476 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 51 lower BCS cows + 13 lames, milked once a day

Latest BCS figures: average 4.4, as at 29 March 2021

102 cows were drafted and received preventative hoof trimming 12 March

Approximately 100 culls are booked into the works in the next 2 weeks.

Growing Conditions

2.4mm rainfall this week. 3 days irrigation on North block, 3 days irrigation on South block.

Average soil temperature this week: 14.5°C. 

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,441 KgDM/ha

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet: 3,552 KgDM/ha for 17 KgDM/cow/day on 33 day round (4.84 ha/day)

Balage has increased to 5 KgDM/cow/day) to help extend round length heading into Autumn.

We are following the cows with N at 25 KgN/ha.

Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 6 months. The plan is to finish the season with an Average Pasture Cover of 1900Kg DM/ha. This is anticipating similar winter growth as in recent years (and acknowledges the amount of the farm in more winter active - hybrid perennial ryegrasses). The target APC at the end of July remains at 2600kgDM/ha and requires an average growth rate over the winter of 11.5kgDM/ha/day during June and July.

Feed Wedge

Soil Moisture

Body Condition Score

Tuesday 23 March

This week:

Production 1.66 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 541

Growth 57 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2461 KgDm/ha

Round length 33 days

Rainfall 0.6mm

SCC 99,000

Supplements fed 1.73KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 14.5 ⁰C

 

Herd Management

Main herd: 487 M.A. cows, milked twice a day

Small herd: 37 lower BCS cows + 16 lames, milked once a day

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

Growing Conditions

0.6mm rainfall this week. 2 days irrigation on North block, 2 days irrigation on South block.

Average soil temperature this week: 14.5°C. 

Feed Management

Average pasture cover: 2,461 KgDM/ha

Pre-grazing cover demand for pasture-only diet: 3,618 KgDM/ha for 18.5 KgDM/cow/day on 33 day round (4.84 ha/day)

Balage has increased to 1.73 KgDM/cow/day) to help extend round length heading into Autumn.

We are now following the cows with N at 25 KgN/ha.

Tuesay 9 March 2021

This week:

Production 1.7 KgMS/cow/day

Cows in milk 541

Growth 66 KgDM/ha/day

Farm cover 2473 KgDm/ha

Round length 30 days

Rainfall 2.6mm

SCC 102,000

Supplements fed 1.5KgDM/cow/day

Ave. soil temp. 16.2 ⁰C

6 week in-calf rate 66%*

 

Feed Wedge 9 March: