LUDF – focus for 2018/19 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
- Managing average pasture cover / cow intakes / residuals as pastures start going to seed
- Monitor Soil moisture and irrigate accordingly
- No silage fed
- Round length 24 days
- Cows averaged 1.81Kg MS
- Growth past week 80KgDm
- Farm cover 2399kgDM/ha
- 17.8 mm of rain for the week
- 4 Days irrigation
- 2 Paddocks post graze mown
- 70% six week incalf rate
Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 15thJanuary 2019
Ave Past Cover
(Rising Plate Meter)
Pasture Growth Rate
80kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)
24 (for 160ha)
Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)
0 kgDM/ milking cow/day
No Cows on farm
Ave Soil Temp (week)
Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)
Protein / Fat
Milk Fat – 4.90%
Milk Protein – 4.07%
Farm Walk – 22nd January Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.
Peter Hancox, Farm Manager
Please note – All visitors to the farm are now required to use boot washing facilities and disinfectant mat on arrival (and recommended to use on departure).
- There are 548 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
- No new mastitis cows this week.
- SCC has been an issue through the first part of this season. We have taken cultures of the 49 highest cell count cows (cows over 500,000) after our herd test on the 27th September .28 cows have tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus. Some of these have been treated and all of them are being milked last at each milking.
- All heifer replacement calves have now been weaned. On Monday the 12th December they were vaccinated with a 7-in-1 and IBR vaccine, received a copper bullet, and were given B-12 plus selenium and were drenched .These were weighed again on Thursday the 13th December average weight 133Kg (only 1 heifer below 100Kg at 98 Kg) .They also received there booster 7-in-1 vaccine.
BCS of cows in milk was done on Monday 11thJanuary. Average BCS was 4.4
- Yearling heifers have received B-12 plus selenium and copper bullet plus drench and BVD vaccine and iodine injection in preparedness for mating.
- Mating plan for yearling heifers:
- No bulls will be used
- To manage without he bulls, a CIDR programme will be used:
i. 2nd October: CIDRs were inserted on all heifers
ii. 9th October: CIDR were pulled out
iii. 11th October: blanket insemination.
iv. 28th October: Re insert CIDRs on all heifers
v. 1st November Remove CIDRs Tail paint and put Kmars on
vi. 2nd and 3rd November mate to observed heats
vii. 15th November preg test all heifers to identify who held to first insemination
viii. 19th November reinsert CIDRs to heifers not confirmed pregnant
ix. 60 heifers confirmed pregnant
x. 23rd November Remove CIDRs Tail paint and put Kmars on
xi. 24th and 25th November mate to observed heats
xii. 11th December preg test all heifers to identify who held to first insemination
xiii. 11th December reinsert CIDRs to heifers not confirmed pregnant
xiv. 77 heifers confirmed pregnant
xv. 15 th December Remove CIDRs Tail paint and put Kmars on
xvi. 16th and 17th December mate to observed heats
xvii. 28th Final preg test
- 35 1st, 2nd and 3rd calving heifers have been carried over from last season to help replacement numbers next season and allow for appropriate culling of animals, should not-InCalf rate remain high this season. These have undergone the same treatment as the yearling heifers for mating.
- Milking herd reproductive health:
- Metricheck 1 done on Monday 3rd September: 33 cows were treated (6%) for metritis. Bloods were taken from a random selection of 10 cows to check for mineral status. Results showed that all levels are adequate however we are adding extra selenium and iodine through the dosatron to increase levels for mating.
- Metricheck 2 was carried out on the 28th September another 9 cows were treated for metritis.
- Pre-mating heat detection started on Thursday the 20th September (all milking cows have been tail painted on Thursday13th September). 98 cows have shown signs of heat during week 1 of pre-mating heats and 123 cows have shown signs of heat during week 2 133 during week 3 and 162 during week 4. To date 418 cows have shown signs of a heat 75%.
- Planned start of mating: 18th October.
- Mating plan:
- Week 1: sexed semen
- Weeks 2-4: Premier Sires
- Week 5- 11: short gestation semen
- 486 cows were mated in first 3 weeks - 88%
- Total number of cows mated to-date: 546 99%.
- Last day of Mating 30th December. Total mating period 10 weeks 4 days
- Preg test 7/1 confirmed 70% six week incalf rate
- Next preg test 4th February. This will give us our whole herd incalf rate.
- The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 17.8. °C.
Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks
Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).
- This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
- Irrigation in the North Block has been changed to 3 pivots. The main centre pivot has been shifted and lost its corner arm. This has left room for 2 new pivots a 4 span pivot and a 2 span pivot.
- Irrigation has occurred for 4 days over the last week.
- The farm received 17.8 mm of rain over the last week.
Pasture and Feed Management
Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge
- The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
- 548 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 10412 kgDM/day or 65 kgDM/Ha/day)
- 10412 kgDM/day / 6.38 ha/day = 1,632kgDM
- Pre-graze cover = 1632 + 1550 = 3182 kgDM/ha.
- Average Pasture Cover is 2399kgDM/ha.
- Round length last week was 24 days with a target of 22-24 day round. Demand line is set for 24 day round off 153 Ha
- No silage fed over the last week
- Cows achieved good residuals
- 17.5 ha post graze mown during the past week.
- Nitrogen, in the form of coated urea has been applied to 36.67 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time.
- The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 106 kg
- Paddock N-4 was sprayed out 8 January for re grassing. This was mown and made into silage 12.2 Tonne DM harvested. This paddock will be cultivated and re sown over the next week. Total area available for cows is now 153 Ha until this paddock comes back into the round.
Feeding Management for the coming month
- We currently have 548 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
- Milkers will be fully fed on grass with silage being added if required to hold round length.
- We aim at grazing a round length of 22-24 days.
- N-protect will be applied through the week as weather allows and whole paddocks become available.
- We will monitor round length over the next week and react accordingly.