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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 18 September 2018

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

  1. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  2. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  3. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  4. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving
  5. Turn attention to mating management (monitoring pre-mating heats).
  6. Set up irrigation

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 18th September 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2514kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

65kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

35 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

518

Ave Soil Temp (week)

9.8 ⁰C

SCC

203,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

2.13 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.84

Milk Fat – 4.67%

Milk Protein – 3.92%

Next Farm Walk – 25h September. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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).

Herd Management

  1. There are 518 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. The herd was split on Monday 21st August. The small herd has 167 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows (22 low BCS cows were transferred from the big herd to the small herd following the BCS on Friday 24th August). The remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  3. There have been no deaths this week. There were 2 new lame cows and 3 new mastitis cows this week.
  4. 167 replacement heifer calves have been tagged all these have now been dis budded and put outside these have also been DNA sampled and bloods taken for BVD all of which have come back negative.
  5. freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds.
  6. We are now back to running 1 springer mob as all Ai calving’s have now finished.
  7. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  8. All non calved cows are now all back on East Block.
  9. There has been 40 cows treated for milk fever and 3 cows 2 of which have had twins with retained membranes.
  10. Milkers were Metrichecked Monday 3rd September, 33 were treated (6%) for metritis and bloods were taken from a random selection of 10 cows and will be analysed in preparation for mating.Results show that all levels are adequate however we are adding extra selenium and iodine through the dosatron to increase levels for mating.
  11. Cows were tail painted last Thursday so as pre mating heats can be observed and recorded weekly.
  12. BCS of cows in milk was done on Friday 24th below are the graphs. Top 2 graphs represent the first herd mostly made up of heifers and the second 2 graphs represent the main herd.
  13. As a result of BCS data 22 cows that were BCS 4 or below were changed from the big herd into the small herd.

Calving 18 Sept 2018BCS1 18 Sept 2018Calving2 18 Sept 2018BCS2 18 Sept 2018

Growing Conditions

The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 9.8 °C. 

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 18 Sept 2018

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 18 Sept 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received no rain over the last week.

 

 

 

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July was 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

 Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover Tracker

Spring Farm Cover Track 18 Sept 2018

 

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedge

Feed Wedge 18 Sept 2018

 

  1. We will be starting our second grazing round this Thursday 5 days earlier than scheduled but given the feed available in the second round this is a good thing.
  2. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 520 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,360 kgDM/day or 58 kgDM/Ha/day)
    2. We will be grazing the farm on a 25 day round = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,360 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,462 kgDM
    4. Pre-graze cover = 1,462 + 1550 = 3012 kgDM/ha.
  3. Average Pasture Cover is 2514kgDM/ha. This is 214 kgDM/ha more than the target line. Round length will be monitored closely to see if this is a true surplus.
  4. AMMO 31 has been applied to 21.7 Ha at a rate 80 Kg/Ha .
  5. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 24th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September. Actual end date will be the 20th
  6. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRPSpring Rotation Planner 18 Sept 2018

Pre Post Grazing APC 18 Sept 2018

Feeding Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 518 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass.
  3. Ammo 31 will continue to be applied through the week as weather allows and whole paddocks become available.
  4. No supplement will be fed over the next week.

Tuesday 11 September, 2018

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

  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan)
  2. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  3. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  4. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  5. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving
  6. Turn attention to mating management (monitoring pre-mating heats).

 

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 11th September 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2446kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

41kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

45 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

501

Ave Soil Temp (week)

7.2 ⁰C

SCC

215,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

2.26 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.78

Milk Fat – 5.08%

Milk Protein – 3.96%

 

Next Farm Walk – 18h September. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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). 

 

 

Herd Management

  1. There are 501 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. The herd was split on Monday 21st August. The small herd has 167 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows (22 low BCS cows were transferred from the big herd to the small herd following the BCS on Friday 24th August). The remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  3. There have been no deaths this week. There were 2 new lame cows and 5 new mastitis cows this week.
  4. 167 replacement heifer calves have been tagged all these have now been dis budded and put outside these have also been DNA sampled and bloods taken for BVD all of which have come back negative.
  5. Freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds.
  6. We are now back to running 1 springer mob as all AI calvings have now finished.
  7. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  8. All non-calved cows are now all back on East Block
  9. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing.
  10. There has been 39 cows treated for milk fever and 3 cows 2 of which have had twins with retained membranes.
  11. Milkers were Metrichecked Monday 3rd September, 33 were treated (6%) for metritis and bloods were taken from a random selection of 10 cows and will be analysed in preparation for mating. Results show that all levels are adequate however we are adding extra selenium and iodine through the dosatron to increase levels for mating.
  12. Cows will be tail painted this Thursday so as pre-mating heats can be observed and recorded weekly.
  13. BCS of cows in milk was done on Friday 24th below are the graphs. Top 2 graphs represent the first herd mostly made up of heifers and the second 2 graphs represent the main herd
  14. As a result of BCS data 22 cows that were BCS 4 or below were changed from the big herd into the small herd.

 

Calving 11 Sept 2018

  1. BCS1 11 Sept 2018Calving2 11 Sept 2018BCS2 11 Sept 2018

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 7.2 °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 11 Sept 2018

 

 

 

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

SMoist 11 Sept 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 5 mm of rain over the last week.

 

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Some paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals
  2. Cows have had to work a bit harder this week to achieve good residuals. Paddocks grazed this week are showing some yellowing in the base which will have an effect on regrowth.
  3. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover Tracker

Farm cover track 11 Sept 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedge

Feed Wedge 11 Sept 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S5 with 3510kgDM/ha
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2446kgDM/ha. This is 46 kgDM/ha more than the target line. This surplus grass is enabling us to stay on track with our spring rotation planner without the need to use any supplement. Despite paddocks being higher than desired cover the quality is still very good and cows are achieving a good residual
  3. AMMO 31 has been applied to 28.8 Ha at a rate 80 Kg/Ha .
  4. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 24th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September.
  5. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRP:SRP 11 Sept 2018Pre and Post Grazing APC 11 Sept 2018

Feeding Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 501 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging
  3. AMMO will continue to be applied through the week as weather allows and whole paddocks become available.
  4. No supplement will be fed over the next week.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

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

  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan).
  2. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  3. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  4. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  5. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  6. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 4th September 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2496kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

26kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

40 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

494

Ave Soil Temp (week)

8.14 ⁰C

SCC

219,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

2.17 kgMS

 

Protein / Fat

0.82

Milk Fat – 4.96%

Milk Protein – 4.08%

Next Farm Walk – 11h September. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

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). 

Herd Management

  1. There are 494 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. The herd was split on Monday 21st August. The small herd has 158 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows (22 low BCS cows were transferred from the big herd to the small herd following the BCS on Friday 24th August ). The remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  3. There have been no deaths this week. There were 3 new lame cows and 5 new mastitis cows this week.
  4. 167 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  5. The last 7 replacement heifers were disbudded yesterday and were put outside today ,167 have now been disbudded and put outside These have also been DNA sampled.
  6. Freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds.
  7. We are now back to running 1 springer mob as all Ai calving’s have now finished.
  8. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  9. All non calved cows are now all back on East Block.
  10. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing.
  11. There has been 39 cows treated for milk fever and 3 cows 2 of which have had twins with retained membranes.
  12. Milkers were Metrichecked yesterday 3rd September, 33 were treated (6%) for metritis and bloods were taken from a random selection of 10 cows and will be analysed in preparation for mating.
  13. BCS of cows in milk was done on Friday 24th below are the graphs. Top 2 graphs represent the first herd mostly made up of heifers and the second 2 graphs represent the main herd
  14. As a result of BCS data 22 cows that were BCS 4 or below were changed from the big herd into the small herd.Calving 4 Sept 2018BCS1 4 Sept 2018Calving2 4 Sept 2018BCS2 4 Sept 2018

 

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 8.14 °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

STemp 4 Sept 2018

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

SMoist 4 Sept 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 23.8 mm of rain over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Some paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

 Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover Tracker

Farm Cover 4 Sept 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 4 Sept 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S9 with 3500kgDM/ha
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2496kgDM/ha. This is 96 kgDM/ha more than the target line. This surplus grass is enabling us to stay on track with our spring rotation planner without the need to use any supplement. Despite paddocks being higher than desired cover the quality is still very good and cows are achieving a good residual with the exception of around 3 hectares that the cows were allocated yesterday. Residuals were higher than desired due to very wet ground conditions.
  3. AMMO 31 has been applied to 53 Ha at a rate 80 Kg/Ha.
  4. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 24th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September.
  5. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRP:Spring Rotation Planner 4 Sept 2018
  6. Pre and Post Grazing APC 4 Sept 2018

Feeding Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 494 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging
  3. AMMO will continue to be applied through the week as weather allows and whole paddocks become available.
  4. No supplement will be fed over the next week.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

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

  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan).
  2. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  3. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  4. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  5. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  6. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 28th August 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2606kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

29kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

51 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

476

Ave Soil Temp (week)

7.3 ⁰C

SCC

246,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

2.12 kgMS

 

Protein / Fat

0.81

Milk Fat – 5.09%

Milk Protein – 4.11%

Next Farm Walk – Tuesday 4th September. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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). 

Herd Management

  1. There are 476 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. The herd was split on Monday 21st August. The small herd has 154 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows (22 low BCS cows were transferred from the big herd to the small herd following the BCS last Friday). The remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  3. There have been no deaths this week. There were 2 new lame cows and 8 new mastitis cows this week.
  4. 167 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  5. 40 replacement heifers were disbudded yesterday and were put out side today, 160 have now been dis budded and put out side
  6. freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds
  7. We are now running 2 springer mobs cows left to calve to Ai (3 cows) and cows mated to short gestation and later natural mated cows
  8. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  9. All non calved cows are on East Block and Jackies Block
  10. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing
  11. There has been 39 cows treated for milk fever and 3 cows 2 of which have had twins with retained membranes
  12. BCS of cows in milk was done last Friday 24th below are the graphs. Top 2 graphs represent the first herd mostly made up of heifers and the second 2 graphs represent the main herd
  13. As a result of BCS data 22 cows that were BCS 4 or below were changed from the big herd into the small herd.

BCS 24 Aug 2018BCS1 percent 23 Aug 2018BCS2 Herd2 24 Aug 2018BCS2 Herd2 percent 24 Aug 2018

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Some paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerSpring Cover Tracker 28 Aug 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeedWedge 28 Aug 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock N7 with 3650kgDM/ha
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2606kgDM/ha. This is 206 kgDM/ha more than the target line. This surplus grass is enabling us to stay on track with our spring rotation planner without the need to use any supplement. Despite paddocks being higher than desired cover the quality is still very good.
  3. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 24th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September.
  4. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRP

Spring Rotation Planner 28 Aug 2018

Pre and Post Grazing APC 28 Aug 2018

Feeding Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 416 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging
  3. We expect cover to decline as more cows calve and demand increases.

Tuesday 21 Aug 2018

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

  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan).
  2. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  3. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  4. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  5. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  6. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 21st August 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2706kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

21kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

59 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

416

Ave Soil Temp (week)

7.6 ⁰C

SCC

254,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

2.03 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat – 5.17%

Milk Protein – 4.12%

Next Farm Walk – 28th August. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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). 

Herd Management

  1. There are 416 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. The herd was split on Monday 21st August. The small herd has around 128 first calving heifers and few low BCS cows. The remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  3. There have been no deaths this week. There were 4 new lame cows and 8 mastitis cow this week.
  4. 160 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  5. 40 replacement heifers were dis budded yesterday and were put outside today, 120 have now been dis budded and put outside
  6. Freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds
  7. We are now running 2 springer mobs cows left to calve to Ai (35 cows) and cows mated to short gestation
  8. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  9. All non calved cows are on East Block and Jackies Block
  10. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing
  11. There has been 29 cows treated for milk fever and 2 cows both who have had twins with retained membranes
  12. 138 heifers and 140 early calving cows were BCS on the 18th July top graph early calving cows 2nd graph R2 heifers. The 1 cow at 4 BCS was a sick cow that was kept home over winter.
  13. 3rd graph is all remaining cows to calf. Some that are still 4.5 are late calving cows that were wintered on a restricted diet with the fats over winter. This was done because they are October calvers and have plenty of time to gain weight and can be at risk of being over fat.
  14. First herd BCS will be done this FridayBCS1 18 Jul 2018
  15. BCS2 18 Jul 2018
  16. BCS 2 Aug 2018

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 7.6 °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 21 Aug 2018

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 21 Aug 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 5.8 mm of rain over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Some paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerSpring Cover Track 21 Aug 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeedWedge 21 Aug 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock N9 with 3600kgDM/ha small herd started grazing this paddock last night and the big herd will be in there tomorrow.
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2706kgDM/ha. This is 306 kgDM/ha more than the target line. It is lower than this time last year where the average pasture cover was 2875kgDM/ha. This higher cover should not be too much of an issue given we are expected to have a much faster calving which will mean we have a higher demand than this time last season. This surplus grass is enabling us to stay on track with our spring rotation planner without the need to use any supplement.
  3. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 24th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September.
  4. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRPSpring Rotation Planner 21 Aug 2018
  5. Pre Post Grazing and APC 21 Aug 2018

Feeding Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 416 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging.
  3. We expect cover to decline as more cows calve and demand increases.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

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
  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan).
  2. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  3. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  4. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  5. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  6. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 14th August 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2782kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

20kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

79 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

324

Ave Soil Temp (week)

8 ⁰C

SCC

257,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.8 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.77

Milk Fat – 5.34%

Milk Protein – 4.09%

 

Next Farm Walk – 21st August. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

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).

Herd Management

  1. There are 324 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. 146 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  3. 40 replacement heifers were dis budded yesterday and were put outside today, 80 have now been dis budded and put outside
  4. freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds
  5. We are now running 2 springer mobs cows left to calve to Ai and cows mated to short gestation
  6. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  7. All non calved cows are on East Block and Jackies Block
  8. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing
  9. There has been 19 cows treated for milk fever and one cow who had twins with retained membranes
  10. 138 heifers and 140 early calving cows were BCS on the 18th July top graph early calving cows 2nd graph R2 heifers. The 1 cow at 4 BCS was a sick cow that was kept home over winter.
  11. 3rd graph is all remaining cows to calf. Some that are still 4.5 are late calving cows that were wintered on a restricted diet with the fats over winter. This was done because they are October calvers and have plenty of time to gain weight and can be at risk of being over fat.BCS1 18 Jul 2018
  12. BCS2 18 Jul 2018
  13. BCS 2 Aug 2018

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 8. °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 14 Aug 2018

 

 

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

SMoist 14 Aug 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 4 mm of rain over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. The paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Some paddocks started showing some yellowing at the tips of the grass, likely as a result of the couple of frosts. No dead matter is observed at the bottom of pastures, even in the high cover paddocks.
  2. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals
  3. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

 Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerFarm Cover Tracker 14 Aug 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 14 Aug 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock N4 with 3780kgDM/ha milkers will be grazing this paddock tomorrow night.
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2782kgDM/ha. This is 332 kgDM/ha more than the target line. It is lower than this time last year where the average pasture cover was 2968kgDM/ha. This higher cover should not be too much of an issue given we are expected to have a much faster calving which will mean we have a higher demand than this time last season. Also most of the surplus feed is at the bottom of the wedge
  3. Our Spring Rotation Planner has started on the 25th July (due to synchronizing the heifers) and is planned to end on / about 25 September.
  4. 26.  Below is our plan vs actual SRPSpring Rotation Planner 14 Aug 2018

 

Feeding Management for the coming months

  1. We currently have 324 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging
  3. We expect cover to decline as more cows calve and demand increases.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

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

  1. Monitor average pasture cover and shape of the wedge on the milking platform to meet planned cover through first grazing round (using the spring rotation plan).
  2. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  3. Cow health and pasture management through calving
  4. Maintain a high quality of hygiene in calf sheds
  5. All newborn calves receive excellent care with regards to colostrum management, feeding, housing and health care
  6. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 7th August 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2856kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

21kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

162 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

236

Ave Soil Temp (week)

7 ⁰C

SCC

203,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.61 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.74

Milk Fat – 5.76%

Milk Protein – 4.20%

 

Next Farm Walk – 14th August. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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). 

Herd Management

  1. There are 236 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. 115 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  3. 40 replacement heifers were dis budded yesterday and were put outside today
  4. Freshly calved colostrum cows are receiving pasture dusted with 100g limeflour, and are getting Mag chloride through the water and no supplementary feeds
  5. Springers are being fed 6kg pasture and 6 Kg of silage with 100g of magnesium sulphate dusted on their daily silage and are getting Mag chloride through the water.
  6. All non calved cows are on East Block and Jackies Block
  7. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing
  8. There has been ten cows treated for milk fever and one cow who had twins with retained membranes
  9. 138 heifers and 140 early calving cows were BCS on the 18th July top graph early calving cows 2nd graph R2 heifers. The 1 cow at 4 BCS was a sick cow that was kept home over winter.
  10. 3rd graph is all remaining cows to calf. Some that are still 4.5 are late calving cows that were wintered on a restricted diet with the fats over winter. This was done because they are October calvers and have plenty of time to gain weight and can be at risk of being over fat.BCS1 18 Jul 2018
  11. BCS2 18 Jul 2018
  12. BCS 2 Aug 2018

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 7 °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 7 Aug 2018

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2)SMoist 7 Aug 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received .8 mm of rain over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. The paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Some paddocks started showing some yellowing at the tips of the grass, likely as a result of the couple of frosts we had a couple of weeks ago. No dead matter is observed at the bottom of pastures, even in the high cover paddocks.
  2. Despite softer ground conditions cows are achieving good residuals.
  3. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerFarm Cover Track 7 Aug 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeedwedge 7 Aug 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S4 with 3589kgDM/ha milkers are currently grazing this paddock. This time last year the highest cover paddock was 4200kgDM/ha. 
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2856kgDM/ha. This is 256 kgDM/ha more than the target line. It is lower than this time last year where the average pasture cover was 3222kgDM/ha. This higher cover should not be too much of an issue given we are expected to have a much faster calving which will mean we have a higher demand than this time last season. Also most of the surplus feed is at the bottom of the wedge.
  3. With planned start of calving officially this week, we have started following our Spring Rotation planner to make sure we allocate a fixed area of pasture per week – so that we don’t reach the end of our first grazing rotation before ‘balance date’ (when supply of pasture grown matches the expected demand of pasture by the herd at peak lactation).

Spring Rotation Planner Lge 7 Aug 2018

Feed Management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 236 cows and heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Milkers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging.
  3. We expect cover to decline as more cows calve and demand increases.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

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

  1. Monitor cows on wintering for health issues.
  2. Monitor winter growth rates and APC target at the end of July.
  3. Preparedness for calving (resources, staff and routines)
  4. Watch cow BCS to ensure all cows meet BCS targets at calving (min 5 for MA cows and 5.5 for R2’s and R3yr’s)
  5. Springer/colostrum cow health through calving
  6. Ready the farm for a likely wet weather event at the end of this week

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2791kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

19kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

0  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

157

Ave Soil Temp (week)

6. ⁰C

 

Next Farm Walk – 7th August. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 Peter Hancox (Farm Manager), Chris Norton

 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). 

Herd Management

  1. There are 157 calved cows and heifers on the milking platform.
  2. 78 replacement heifer calves have been tagged
  3. All non-calved cows will be on East Block and Jackies Block from tomorrow
  4. All cows have received a B12 plus selenium jab on returning from winter grazing
  5. There has been four cows treated for milk fever and no cows with retained membranes
  6. Heifers and 140 early calving cows were BCS on the 18th July. The one cow at 4 BCS was a sick cow that was kept home over winter.
  7. All remaining cows will be BCS this ThursdayBCS1 18 Jul 2018BCS2 18 Jul 2018

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 6. °C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 31 July 2018

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock S9).SMoist 31 July 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 9.5mm of rain over the last 2 weeks.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. The paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Some paddocks started showing some yellowing at the tips of the grass, likely as a result of the couple of frosts we had a couple of weeks ago. No dead matter is observed at the bottom of pastures, even in the high cover paddocks.
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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. Actual average growth over June and July has been 17.6 Kg DM/ha day.

 Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerFarm Cover Track 31 Jul 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 31 Jul 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S4 with 3470kgDM/ha. This time last year the highest cover paddock was 4200kgDM/ha. 
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2791kgDM/ha. This is 278 kgDM/ha more than the target line. It is lower than this time last year where the average pasture cover was 3062kgDM/ha.This higher cover should not be too much of an issue given we are expected to have a much faster calving which will mean we have a higher demand than this time last season.
  3. With planned start of calving official starting this week, we have started following our Spring Rotation planner to make sure we allocate a fixed area of pasture per week – so that we don’t reach the end of our first grazing rotation before ‘balance date’ (when supply of pasture grown matches the expected demand of pasture by the herd at peak lactation).

Figure 5. Spring Rotation PlannerSpring Rotation Planner

Tuesday 17 July, 2018

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

  1. Monitor cows on wintering for health issues.
  2. Monitor winter growth rates and APC target at the end of July.
  3. Preparedness for calving (resources, staff and routines)

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2580kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

25kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

0 (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

15

Ave Soil Temp (week)

6.7 ⁰C

Next Farm Walk – 31st July. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

 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).

Herd Management

  1. There are 15 calved heifers on the milking platform.
  2. 138 first calving heifers were brought back from the wintering block on the 11th July. They are grazing on the East block they received a Selenium and B12 shot on the 11th July. These will be BCS tomorrow and will also be given their IBR vaccine booster shot.
  3. 134 early calving cows were brought back on the 16th July they received a Selenium and B12 shot on the 16th July. These will be BCS tomorrow
  4. The cows are at winter grazing in 3 mobs.
    1. 244 light early calving cows offered 16kgDM made up of 3kgDM silage and 13kgDM rape and grass
    2. 95 mid-range cows (Average 4.5 BCS at the end of May) offered 14kgDM – 4.5kgDM silage and 9.5kgDM grass
    3. 83 Fats and October calvers offered 10kgDM (will follow the light calving herd).
  5. R2 heifers are being offered 12kgDM -  2kgDM silage and 10kgDM grass
  6. 7 lame cows have remained close-by and are being grazed at Jackie’s (neighbouring farm).

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 6.7°C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksS Temp 17 Jul 2018

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock S9).S Moist 17 Jul 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the south Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 16.3mm of rain over the last 2 weeks.

 

Pasture and feed management

  1. The paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Some paddocks started showing some yellowing at the tips of the grass, likely as a result of the couple of frosts we had a couple of weeks ago. No dead matter is observed at the bottom of pastures, even in the high cover paddocks.
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerCover Tracker 17 Jul 2018

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 17 Jul 2018

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S1 with 3250kgDM/ha. This time last year the highest cover paddock was 3800kgDM/ha. 
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2580kgDM/ha. This is 155kgDM/ha more than the target line. It is similar to this time last year where the average pasture cover was 2539kgDM/ha.This higher cover should not be too much of an issue given we are expected to have close to 200 cows calved by the end of July which will mean we have a higher demand than this time last season.

Feeding management for the coming month

  1. We currently have 15 heifers calved and grazing on the milking platform.
  2. Heifers will be fully fed on grass, allocating more area if necessary to avoid pugging
  3. We expect to continue accumulating cover on the farm until August when demand will increase as cows are brought onto the platform as they calf. Springers can be brought back onto the farm earlier if required to manage any higher cover paddocks to maintain pasture quality.
  4. Wintering of the herd is going well, all R2 heifers and 134 early calving cows have been brought back to East Block.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

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

  1. Monitor cows on wintering for health issues.
  2. Monitor winter growth rates and APC target at the end of July.
  3. Preparedness for calving (resources, staff and routines)

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2233kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

9kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

0  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/ milking cow/day

No Cows on farm

0

Ave Soil Temp (week)

7 ⁰C

Next Farm Walk – 17th July. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

 

 

Herd Management

  1. There are no cows on the milking platform at this stage.
  2. The cows are at winter grazing in 3 mobs.
    1. 244 light early calving cows offered 16kgDM made up of 3kgDM silage and 13kgDM rape and grass
    2. 95 mid-range cows (Average 4.5 BCS at the end of May) offered 14kgDM – 4.5kgDM silage and 9.5kgDM Grass
    3. 83 Fats and October calvers offered 10kgDM (will follow the light calving herd).
  3. R2 heifers are being offered 12kgDM -  2kgDM silage and 10kgDM grass
  4. 7 lame cows have remained close-by and are being grazed at Jackie’s (neighbouring farm).
  5. The first load of (early-calving) heifers will be brought back from grazing on the 12th July.

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature this week has been 7°C.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSoil Temp 3 Jul 18

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N7). Soil Moist 3 Jul18

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. The farm has received 95.6mm of rain over the past 30 days.

Pasture and feed management

  1. The paddocks are soft underfoot, particularly in the south block. Some paddocks started showing some yellowing at the tips of the grass, likely as a result of the couple of frosts we had a couple of weeks ago. No dead matter is observed at the bottom of pastures, even in the high cover paddocks.
  2. Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 3 months. The farm deliberately finished last season with an Average Pasture Cover of approximately 1900kgDM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. This was in anticipation of 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.

Figure 3: Autumn – Spring 2018 Cover TrackerCover Tracker 3 Jul 18

Figure 4: This week’s feed wedge

Feed Wedge 3 Jul 18 Copy

  1. The highest current cover is in paddock S1 with 2950kgDM/ha. This time last year the highest cover paddock was 3800kgDM/ha. 
  2. Average Pasture Cover is 2233kgDM/ha. This is 105kgDM/ha less than the target line. It is also significantly lower than this time last year where the average pasture cover was 2539kgDM/ha.

Feed management for the coming month

  1. There will be no animals on platform until heifers start calving (due 14th July).
  2. We expect to continue accumulating cover on the farm until August when demand will increase as cows are brought onto the platform as they calf. Springers can be brought back onto the farm earlier if required to manage any higher cover paddocks to maintain pasture quality.
  3. Wintering of the herd is going well, they will be re-drafted into calving date groups on the 16th of July.

Tuesday 29th May, 2018

Tuesday 29th May 2018 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Monitor cows following drying off cows - especially due to the targeted use of Dry Cow Therapy
  2. Monitor winter growth rates and APC target at the end of July.

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 29nd May 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

1894 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

13 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter).

Round length

71 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0  kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

6 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

8.2⁰C

SCC

148,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.23kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.82

Milk Fat – 6.03%

Milk Protein – 4.96%

Next Farm Walk - Late June - please check nearer the time. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022. 

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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). 

Herd management

  • No cows now in milk  - all remaining cows dried off on the 24th May
  • Cows have now left for their winter grazing. MA Cows will be wintered in 3 mobs this winter.
    • 244 light early calving cows will be offered 16 Kg made up of 3kg silage and 13Kg Rape and grass
    • 95 mid-range cows (@4.5 BCS) will be offered 14 KgDM – 4.5 Kg silage and 9.5 Kg Grass
    • 83 Fats and October calvers will be offered 10 Kg (will follow the light calving herd).
  • R2 heifers are being offered 12 KgDM -  2 Kg silage and 10 Kg grass
  • All cull cows have now left the farm with the exception of one empty lame cow who will leave within the next 2 weeks
  • At dry off 88 cows that had exceeded the SCC threshold over 4 herd tests over the season were given long acting dry cow and Teat seal, with the remaining cows received teat seal only.
  • R2 heifers were teat sealed on the 19th April. They have now been moved to their winter grazing. They were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium
  • R1 calves were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium and also given their lepto boster
  • The average liveweight of the MA cows being wintered is 487 Kg
  • 429 MA - In-Calf cows were condition scored on Tuesday 22 May. The average CS of these cows was 4.4 CS. This is a small increase on the average of the herd in late April, but a slightly wider spread in CS, as below (and a smaller total number cows that were scored).  

bcs green 290518

 

 

 

 

  • Of the cows available for CS on 22 May, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased from 290 to 218, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had increased from 63 to 81. Total cow numbers had also decreased from 489 as culls were not CS.

bcs blue 1 290518

 

 

bcs blue 2 290518

 

Growing conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature decreased from an average of 8.8°C last week to 8.2°C this week.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

soil temp 290518

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

soil moisture 290518

  • 23.4 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week. Total rain fall this season has been 752 mm, compared to the farms normal average of 660 mm’s.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen applications finished on farm back in late March, as growth since then has been much more influenced by temperature than N.
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha.
  • No silage fed over the last week.
  • The farm grazed an average of 2.10 ha/day, giving a round length of 71 days.
  • Below is our autumn spring tracker that we will monitor over the next 6 months. The plan was to finish the season with an Average Pasture Cover of 1900Kg DM/ha which is lower than previous seasons. 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.
  • The target has been achieved.

spring cover track 290518

  • Average Pasture Cover decreased from2003 kgDM/ha to 1894 kgDM/ha.

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

feed wedge 290518

  • The pregrazing target above (2300kgDM/ha) shows the target for the farm at the end of May -ie to achieve an average of 1900kgDM/ha and post grazing residuals of 1500 requires pregrazing cover of 2300.
  • As almost all cows are now off farm for the winter, APC will be monitored in terms of cover and quality to achieve targets for pasture cover at calving. If required dry cows may be returned to the platform early to manage the shape of the feedwedge.

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Tuesday 22nd May 2018 

 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Meeting APC cover target achieved at the end of May.
  3. Drying off cows with targeted use of Dry Cow Therapy
  4. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 29th May 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

Herd management

  • The milking herd has a total of 309 cows in milk - 304 twice-a-day milkers, and 4 once-a-day milkers (lames). 1 mastitis cow.
  • All cull cows were dried off last week 30 culls went to the works and remainder 75 culls are being used to clean up behind main herd. In total, 123 light CS / early calving cows (and some lame / low production cows). All dry cows are now grazing on farm.  Total demand is based on 507 cows on farm.
  • Bulk milk testing in April showed a low SP ratio indicating there has been no change of LUDFs BVD status ie LUDF remains BVD free.
  • Johnes screening using the herd test milk samples has identified 7 Johnes positive cows (confirmed through blood tests). These have been added to the cull list (one is empty).
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform extra selenium and iodine is also being added to increase levels pre winter.
  • 4 new lame cows this week no new mastitis cases
  • The farm now has 1 main herd plus the OAD herd. Culls still on farm are following the main herd and will be expected to clean up to a better residual behind the millking herd. The lighter early calving cows have been brought back onto the platform to help eat some surplus grass so as to get us to our target of 1900 at dry off.
  • R2 heifers were teat sealed on the 19th April. They have now been moved to their winter grazing. They were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium
  • R1 calves were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium and also given their lepto boster
  • The average liveweight of the cows in milk is 503 Kg
  • 429 MA - In-Calf cows were condition scored on Tuesday 22 May. The average CS of these cows was 4.4 CS. This is a small increase on the average of the herd in late April, but a slightly wider spread in CS, as below (and a smaller total number cows that were scored).  

 

bcs green 220518

 

  • Of the cows available for CS on 22 May, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased from 290 to 218, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had increased from 63 to 81. Total cow numbers had also decreased from 489 as culls were not CS.

 

bcs blue 1 220518

 

bcs blue 2 220518

 

Growing conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature decreased from an average of 11°C last week to 8.8°C this week.

soil temp 220518

 

 

 

soil moisture 220518

 

  • 16.4 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week which has been enough to keep the farm soft under foot.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen applications finished on farm back in late March, as growth is now much more influenced by temperature than N.
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha.
  • No silage fed over the last week.
  • The farm grazed an average of 5.10 ha/day, giving a round length of 31 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.

spring cover track 220518

 

  • Average Pasture Cover decreased from2149 kgDM/ha to 2003 kgDM/ha, but is still 36kgDM/ha above the target for 22 May.
  • The pregrazing target above (2300kgDM/ha) shows the target for the farm at the end of May -ie to achieve an average of 1900kgDM/ha and post grazing residuals of 1500 requires pregrazing cover of 2300 (a significant surplus above current demand).

feed wedge 220518

Feeding management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to ensure we reach our dry off target of 1900 at the end of May.
  • In practice the farm has nearly 103 kgDM/ha decrease in APC to achieve over the next 6 days (the herd is booked to depart for winter grazing on 28th May.
  • Decreasing APC from current level of 2003 kgDM/ha to 1900 = 103 kgDM/ha x 160 ha = 16,480kgDM.
  1. This is equivalent to nearly 32 kgDM/cow or 5.4 kgDM/cow/day for 6 days.
  2. At the current stocking rate of 3.1 cows/ha this is approximately 17 kgDM/ha/day available feed from decreasing APC.
  3. A growth rate of 20kg DM/ha /day + decrease in APC of 17 kgDM/ha/day provides an average intake from pasture of 12 kgDM/cow/day.
  • This appears realistic as the farm will begin to tighten feed supply and dry off in approximately 6 days.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm. As noted above they are following the main herd to achieve target postgrazing residuals for the end of May.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Reduce Silage fed to ensure APC cover target achieved at the end of May.
  3. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 15th May 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2149 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

26 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter).

Round length

41 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0.3  kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

445 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

11⁰C

SCC

164,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.30 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat – 5.98%

Milk Protein – 4.71%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 22nd May 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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). 

 

 

 

 

Herd Management

  • The milking herd has a total of 445 cows in milk - 434 twice-a-day milkers, and 9 once-a-day milkers (lames). 1 mastitis cow.
  • A further 8 cows were dried off last week. In total, 65 light CS / early calving cows have now been dried off, + 26 lame / low production cows. All dry cows are now grazing off farm.  Total demand is based on 445 cows on farm.
  • Bulk milk testing in April showed a low SP ratio indicating there has been no change of LUDFs BVD status ie LUDF remains BVD free.
  • Johnes screening using the herd test milk samples has identified 7 Johnes positive cows (confirmed through blood tests). These will be added to the cull list (one is empty).
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform extra selenium and iodine is also being added to increase levels pre winter.
  • 2 new lame cows this week no new mastitis cases
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The makeup of the small herd changed in early May and now contains all cull cows and some later calving fat cows. These are following the main herd and will be expected to clean up to a better residual behind the big herd.
  • R2 heifers were teat sealed on the 19th April. They have now been moved to their winter grazing. They were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium
  • R1 calves were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium and also given their lepto boster
  • The average whole herd liveweight of the cows in milk is slightly lighter than the average of all cows on farm last week (by an average of 3kg/cow).
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 27 April. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.2, 0.1 lower than previous month.Calving 15 May 2018

 

  • At 27th April CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had increased from 254 to 290, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 66 to 63. Total cow numbers had also decreased from 529 to 489 as early calving light condition score cows were dried off (and not condition scored).BCS 15 May 2018

 

  • The individual cow condition scores from late April are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below. These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get to their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules 65 cows have now been dried off (on CS). 26 lame and or low production cow have also been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

 

 Rising 3 year old

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

      1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April -5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

5

60

NA

NA

 

This strategy requires fully feeding cows that have been dried off, i.e. - above maintenance levels.

Growing conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature decreased a little to 11°C (compared to 11.4°C average for the previous week).

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 15 May 2018

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 15 May 2018

 

  • 1.4 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week which has been enough to keep the farm soft under foot.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

Pasture and Feed Management

  • Nitrogen applications finished on farm back in late March, as growth is now much more influenced by temperature than N.
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha.
  • Silage was only fed on one day during the week at a rate of 2kgDM/cow on that day. This is equivalent to a total of approx. 920 kg DM of silage fed for the week (average of 0.3 kgDM/ milking cow/day).
  • The farm grazed an average of 5.15 ha/day, giving a round length of 31 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.

Autumn Cover 15 May 2018

 

 

  • Average Pasture Cover decreased from2219 kgDM/ha to 2149 kgDM/ha, but is still 116kgDM/ha above the target for 15 May.

FeedWedge 15 May 2018

 Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

  • The pregrazing target above (2300kgDM/ha) shows the target for the farm at the end of May -ie to achieve an average of 1900kgDM/ha and post grazing residuals of 1500 requires pregrazing cover of 2300 (a significant surplus above current demand).
  • Feed demand is calculated as follows:
  1. 445 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 8455 kgDM/day (Demand of 53 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. Target round length is now 26-27 days to achieve dry off target at end of May - ie grazing 6 ha /day.
  3. 8455 kgDM/day / 6 ha/day = 1409 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1409 + 1550 = 2959 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
  5. Pre-graze covers are approximately 2900kgDM/ha by decreasing average pasture cover.

 

  • Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions:
  1. Milk production of 1.36 kg MS/cow/day requires 95 MJME/day
  2. Maintenance and walking requires 70 MJME/day
  3. Average Weight gain of approx. 1 kgLWG/day requires 50 MJME/day
  4. Pregnancy - at this stage small, assume up to 1 kgDM /day or 10 MJME/day
  5. Total energy requirement is therefore 225 MJME/cow/day
  6. At average energy content of 11.8MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 19 kgDM/cow/day.
  7. There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, 90% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 21 kgDM/cow/day and higher pregrazing covers.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure we reach our dry off target of 1900 at the end of May.
  2. In practice the farm has nearly 250 kgDM/ha decrease in APC to achieve over the next 13 days (the herd is booked to depart for winter grazing on 28th May.
  3. Decreasing APC from current level of 2149 kgDM/ha to 1900 = 249 kgDM/ha x 160 ha = 39,840kgDM. This is equivalent to nearly 90 kgDM/cow or 6.9 kgDM/cow/day for 13 days. At the current stocking rate of 2.78 cows/ha this is approximately 19kgDM/ha/day available feed from decreasing APC.
  4. The required growth rate on farm is therefore only 34 kgDM/ha/day.
  5. Additionally, the farm will begin to tighten feed supply and dry off in approximately 9 days so only has another 5-6 days at current feed demand.
  6. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  7. The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk. As noted above they are following the main herd to achieve target postgrazing residuals as we head towards the end of May.

Tuesday 8 May, 2018

Tuesday 8th May 2018 

 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Reduce Silage fed to ensure APC cover target achieved at the end of May.
  3. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 8st May 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2291 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

52 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter).

Round length

41 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

4.6  kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

453 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

11.4⁰C

SCC

168,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.38kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.76

Milk Fat – 6.17%

Milk Protein – 4.71%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 15th May 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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). 

Herd management

  • The milking herd has a total of 449 cows in milk - 439 twice-a-day milkers, and 10 once-a-day milkers (lames). 1 cow on Depo for lameness (4 cows in total are not currently being milked into the vat).
  • A further 35 cows were dried off last week. In total, 65 light CS / early calving cows have now been dried off, + 18 lame / low production cows. All dry cows are now grazing off farm.  Total demand is based on 453 cows on farm.
  • Bulk milk testing in April showed a low SP ratio indicating there has been no change of LUDFs BVD status ie LUDF remains BVD free.
  • Johnes screening using the herd test milk samples has identified 7 Johnes positive cows (confirmed through blood tests). These will be added to the cull list (one is empty).
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform extra selenium and iodine is also being added to increase levels pre winter.
  • 4 new lame cows this week 2 new mastitis cases
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The makeup of the small herd changed this week and now contains all cull cows and some later calving fat cows. These are foillowing the main herd and will be expected to clean up to a better residual behind the big herd.
  • R2 heifers were teat sealed on the 19th April. They have now been moved to their winter grazing. They were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium
  • R1 calves were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium and also given their lepto boster
  • The average whole herd liveweight of the cows in milk is slightly lighter than the average of all cows on farm last week (by an average of 2kg/cow). The change in herd average liveweight is masked by the effect of drying off some lighter early calving cows.
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 27 April. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.2, 0.1 lower than previous month.

bcs green 080518

 

 

  • At 27th April CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had increased from 254 to 290, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 66 to 63. Total cow numbers had also decreased from 529 to 489 as early calving light condition score cows were dried off (and not condition scored).

bcs blue 080518

 

 

  • The individual cow condition scores from late April are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below. These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get to their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules 65 cows have now been dried off (on CS). 13 lame cows and 5 low production cow have also been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

 Rising 3 year old

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

      1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April -5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

5

60

NA

NA

This strategy requires fully feeding cows that have been dried off, i.e. - above maintenance levels. 

Growing conditions

 

  • The average 9 am soil temperature 11.4°C (compared to 11.3°C average for the previous week).

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

soil temp 080518

 

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

soil moisture 080518

 

  • 3.8 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week which has been enough to keep the farm soft under foot.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

Pasture and Feed management

 

  • Nitrogen has now finished for this season, (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha
  • A total of nearly 14 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 4.6 kgDM/ milking cow/day).
  • The farm grazed an average of 3.92 ha/day, giving a round length of 41 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.
  • Average Pasture Cover increased from2208 kgDM/ha to 2291 kgDM/ha. This implies the growth rate plus silage fed is above demand. The increase of 83kgDM/ha is equivalent to 11 kgDM/ha/day above demand.
  • Based on a total demand of 54 kgDM/ha/day, less 4.6kgDM/cow/day as silage (13 kgDM/ha/day) and an increase in APC implies a growth rate of 54 - 13 + 11 = 52 kgDM/ha/day. This is the same as estimated by Pasture Coach this week.

 

 

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line assumes fully feeding cows on grass. It is calculated as follows:

 

  1. 453 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 8607 kgDM/day (Demand of 54 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. Target round length is now 26-27 days to achieve dry off target at end of May - ie grazing 6 ha /day.
  3. 8493 kgDM/day / 6 ha/day = 1415 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1415 + 1550 = 2965 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
  5. Pre-graze covers are approximately 2900kgDM/ha so any difference will be provided from feeding silage and decreasing average pasture cover.

 

 

 

  • Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions:

 

  1. Milk production of 1.36 kg MS/cow/day requires 95 MJME/day
  2. Maintenance and walking requires 70 MJME/day
  3. Average Weight gain of approx. 1 kgLWG/day requires 50 MJME/day
  4. Pregnancy - at this stage small, assume up to 1 kgDM /day or 10 MJME/day
  5. Total energy requirement is therefore 225 MJME/cow/day
  6. At average energy content of 11.8MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 19 kgDM/cow/day.
  7. There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, 90% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 21 kgDM/cow/day and higher pregrazing covers.

 

 

Feed management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure we reach our dry off target of 1900 at the end of May.
  • In practice the farm has nearly 400kgDM/ha decrease in APC to achieve over the next 20 days (the herd is booked to depart for winter grazing on 28th May.
  • Decreasing APC from current level of 2292 kgDM/ha to 1900 = 392 kgDM/ha x 160 ha = 62,270kgDM. This is equivalent to 138 kgDM/cow or 6.9kgDM/cow/day for 20 days. At the current stocking rate of 2.83 cows/ha this is nearly 20kgDM/ha/day available feed from decreasing APC.
  • The required growth rate on farm is therefore only 34 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Additionally, the farm will begin to tighten feed supply and dry off in approximately 2 weeks so only has another 12 -14 days at current feed demand.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
  1. Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs) (48 cents if only 80% utilisation).
  2. Milk price of $6.55/kgMS
  3. Herd average production of 1.38 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test and production has been a little higher over the past 2 weeks)
  4. Total revenue per day $9.04
  5. Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 19 kgDM/cow/day = $7.22. This rises to $9.02/day at 80% utilisation.
  6. Note its now unlikely the empty culls will be eating the same as a pregnant cow, therefore intake for the culls is likely to be overstated. 
  7. With the current pasture cover on farm, and recent growth rates, little additional silage may be required.
  • The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (eg staff and shed costs or changes in cull price over the season).
  • A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 12 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 19kgDM/cow/day / 160 ha) - and therefore reduce the need for some of the silage.

Tuesday 1 May, 2018

Tuesday 1st May 2018 

 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 1st May 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2208 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

36 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter).

Round length

37 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

7.1  kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

496 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

11.3⁰C

SCC

132,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.38kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.8

Milk Fat – 5.94%

Milk Protein – 4.73%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 8th May 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

Also - Next LUDF Focus day - Thursday 3rd May at LUDF. Note parking will be off Ellesmere Junction Rd.

Herd management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 490 cows in milk - 486 twice-a-day milkers, and 13 once-a-day milkers (lames). 1 cow on Depo for lameness. 26 light cows have been dried off. Total demand is based on 496 cows on farm.
  2. Bulk milk testing in April showed a low SP ratio indicating there has been no change of LUDFs BVD status ie LUDF remains BVD free.
  3. Johnes screening using the herd test milk samples has identified 7 Johnes positive cows (confirmed through blood tests). These will be added to the cull list (one is empty).
  4. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform extra selenium and iodine is also being added to increase levels pre winter.
  5. 8 new lame cows this week 3 new mastitis cases
  6. The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The make up of the small herd will change again this week .The small herd will now comprise of all cull cows and some later calving fat cows and these will be expected to clean up to a better residual mostly behind the big herd.
  7. R2 heifers were teat sealed on the 19th April. They are being moved to their winter grazing tomorrow the 2nd May .They will be weighed drenched and will receive a B-12 plus selenium
  8. R1 calves were weighed drenched and received a B-12 plus selenium and also given their lepto boster
  9. The average whole herd liveweight has increased slightly this week by an average of 5Kg. The whole herd liveweight has changed with drying off 26 cows.
  10. The herd was body condition scored on Monday 27 April. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.2, 0.1 lower than previous month.

bcs green 010518

  • At 27th April CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had increased from 254 to 290, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 66 to 63. Total cow numbers had also decreased from 529 to 489 as early calving light condition score cows were dried off.

bcs blue 010518

  • The individual cow condition scores from late April are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below. These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get to their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules a further 38 cows will be dried off this Friday. 21 Rising three year olds and 13 mixed age cows - with current CS of 4 or less. 26 light cows and 13 lame cows and 5 low production cow have also been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

Rising 3 year old

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

      1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April -5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

5

60

NA

NA

 This strategy requires fully feeding cows that have been dried off, i.e. - above maintenance levels.

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature 11.3°C (compared to 10.6°C average for the previous week).

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

soil temp 010518

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

soil moist 010518

  1. 35.2 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week which made the farm very wet over the weekend.
  2. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

Pasture and feed management

  1. Nitrogen has now finished for this season, (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  2. The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha
  3. A total of nearly 25 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 7.1 kgDM/ milking cow/day).
  4. The farm grazed an average of 4.31 ha/day, giving a round length of 37 days.
  5. 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.
  6. Average Pasture Cover decreased from2250 kgDM/ha to 2208 kgDM/ha. This implies the growth rate plus silage fed is less than feed demand. The decrease of 56 kgDM/ha is equivalent to 6 kgDM/ha/day.
  7. Based on a total demand of 59 kgDM/ha/day, less 21kgDM/ha/day as silage and 6 kgDM/ha/day from the decrease in APC implies a growth rate of 59-21-6 = 32 kgDM/ha/day. Pasture Coach calculated a GR of 36 kgDM/ha/day.

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

feed wedge 010518

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line assumes fully feeding cows on grass. It is calculated as follows:
    1. 496 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 9424 kgDM/day (Demand of 59 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. Target round length is a minimum 32 days. (160ha/32days) = 5 ha grazed/day
    3. 9424 kgDM/day / 5 ha/day = 1885 kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1885 + 1600 = 3485 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
    5. Pre-graze covers are approximately 3000kgDM/ha so the difference will continue to be made up from feeding silage and decreasing average pasture cover.
    6. Feeding silage at 6 kgDM/cow/day decreases demand to approx. 13 kgDM/cow/day (40 kgDM/ha/day from pasture).
    7. Demand from pasture is therefore 496 cows * 13 = 6448 kgDM, or 1300 kgDM/ha available pasture.
    8. With a target residual of 1600kgDM/ha and 1300kgDM/ha available feed this requires pregraze covers of 2900kgDM/ha.
  2. Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions:
    1. Milk production of 1.36 kg MS/cow/day requires 95 MJME/day
    2. Maintenance and walking requires 70 MJME/day
    3. Average Weight gain of approx. 1 kgLWG/day requires 50 MJME/day
    4. Pregnancy - at this stage small, assume up to 1 kgDM /day or 10 MJME/day
    5. Total energy requirement is therefore 225 MJME/cow/day
    6. At average energy content of 11.8MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 19 kgDM/cow/day.
    7. There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, 90% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 21 kgDM/cow/day and higher pregrazing covers.

Feeding management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure a minimum round length of 32 days.
  2. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  3. The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
    1. Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs) (48 cents if only 80% utilisation).
    2. Milk price of $6.55/kgMS
    3. Herd average production of 1.36 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test and production has been a little higher over the past 2 weeks)
    4. Total revenue per day $8.91
    5. Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 18.7 kgDM/cow/day = $7.10. This rises to $8.90/day at 80% utilisation.
  4. The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (eg staff and shed costs or changes in cull price over the season).
  5. A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 12 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 19kgDM/cow/day / 160 ha) - and therefore reduce the need for some of the silage.

Tuesday 24th April, 2018

Tuesday 24th April 2018 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 24th April 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2250 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

32 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter).

Round length

37 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

5.4  kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

496 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

10.6⁰C

SCC

175,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.39kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.8

Milk Fat – 5.91%

Milk Protein – 4.72%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 1st May 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

Also - Next LUDF Focus day - Thursday 3rd May at LUDF. Note parking will be off Ellesmere Junction Rd.

Herd management

  • The milking herd has a total of 490 cows in milk - 483 twice-a-day milkers, and 5 once-a-day milkers (lames). 3 cows on Depo for lameness. 26 light cows have been dried off. Total demand is based on 496 cows on farm.
  • Bulk milk testing last week came back showing a low SP ratio indicating there has been no change of LUDFs BVD status ie LUDF remains BVD free.
  • Johnes screening using the herd test milk samples has identified 7 Johnes positive cows (confirmed through blood tests). These will be added to the cull list (one is empty).
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  • 2 new lame cows this week 4 new mastitis cases
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The makeup of the small herd changed on 15 January to a group of 160 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation.
  • The average whole herd liveweight has decreased slightly this week by an average of 3Kg. The whole herd liveweight has changed with drying off 26 cows.
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 26 March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month. Next BCS is scheduled for this Friday 27thbcs 240418

 

 

  • At 26th March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 258 to 254, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 95 to 66. Total cow numbers that were Condition scored have also dropped a little, from 533 to 529. The number of cows at CS 4.5 has increased from 186 to 209.bcs blue 240418

 

  • The individual cow condition scores from late March are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below. These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get to their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules 26 cows were dried off last Friday. 13 Rising three year olds and 13 mixed age cows - with current CS of 4 or less. 13 lame cows and 1 low production cow have also been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

 

Rising 3 year old

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April -5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

5

60

NA

NA

 

This strategy requires fully feeding cows that have been dried off, i.e. - above maintenance levels.

Growing conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature 10.6°C (compared to 9.7°C average for the previous week).

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weekssoil temp 240418

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).soil moisture 240418

 

  • 9 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  • There will be no more irrigation this season.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen has now finished for this season, (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha
  • A total of nearly 18.6 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 5.4 kgDM/ milking cow/day) or 5.34kgDM/cow/day all cows on farm.
  • The farm grazed an average of 4.32 ha/day, giving a round length of 37 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.
  • Average Pasture Cover decreased from2306 kgDM/ha to 2250 kgDM/ha. This implies the growth rate plus silage fed is less than feed demand. The decrease of 56 kgDM/ha is equivalent to 8 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Based on a total demand of 58 kgDM/ha/day, less 17kgDM/ha/day as silage and 8 kgDM/ha/day from the decrease in APC implies a growth rate of 58-17-8 = 33 kgDM/ha/day. Pasture Coach calculated a GR of 32 kgDM/ha/day.

 

 

 

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line assumes fully feeding cows on grass. It is calculated as follows:
  1. 496 cows eating 18.7 kgDM/cow/day = 9275 kgDM/day (Demand of 58 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. Target round length is a minimum 32 days. (160ha/32days) = 5 ha grazed/day
  3. 9275 kgDM/day / 5 ha/day = 1855 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1855 + 1600 = 3455 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
  5. Pre-graze covers are approximately 3000kgDM/ha so the difference will continue to be made up from feeding silage and decreasing average pasture cover.
  6. Feeding silage at 6 kgDM/cow/day decreases demand to approx. 13 kgDM/cow/day (40 kgDM/ha/day from pasture).
  7. Demand from pasture is therefore 496 cows * 13 = 6448 kgDM, or 1300 kgDM/ha available pasture.
  8. With a target residual of 1600kgDM/ha and 1300kgDM/ha available feed this requires pregraze covers of 2900kgDM/ha.
  • Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions:
  1. Milk production of 1.36 kg MS/cow/day requires 95 MJME/day
  2. Maintenance and walking requires 70 MJME/day
  3. Average Weight gain of approx. 1 kgLWG/day requires 50 MJME/day
  4. Pregnancy - at this stage small, assumed ½ kgDM /day or 6 MJME/day
  5. Total energy requirement is therefore 221 MJME/cow/day
  6. At average energy content of 11.8MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 18.7 kgDM/cow/day.
  7. There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, 90% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 21 kgDM/cow/day and higher pregrazing covers. 

Feeding management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure a minimum round length of 32 days.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
  1. Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs) (48 cents if only 80% utilisation).
  2. Milk price of $6.55/kgMS
  3. Herd average production of 1.36 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test)
  4. Total revenue per day $8.91
  5. Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 18.7 kgDM/cow/day = $7.10. This rises to $8.90/day at 80% utilisation.
  • The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (eg staff and shed costs or changes in cull price over the season).
  • A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 12 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 19kgDM/cow/day / 160 ha) - and therefore reduce the need for some of the silage.

Tuesday 17th April, 2018

Tuesday 17th April 2018 

 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 17th April 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2306 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

34 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter), less if calculating based on feed demand.

Round length

33 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

6.27 kgDM / milking cow / day

No Cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

9.7⁰C

SCC

174,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.36kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.78

Milk Fat – 5.98%

Milk Protein – 4.62%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 24th April 2018. Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

Also - Next LUDF Focus day - Thursday 3rd May at LUDF. Note parking will be off Ellesmere Junction Rd.

Herd management

  • The milking herd has a total of 524 cows in milk - 501 twice-a-day milkers, and 17 once-a-day milkers (lames). 3 new mastitis cows, 3 cows on Depo for lameness. 12 Lame cows have been dried off. Total demand is based on 536 cows on farm.
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  • 4 new lame cows this week 3 new mastitis cases
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The makeup of the small herd changed on 15 January to a group of 160 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation.
  • The average whole herd liveweight has continued to increase with a further 5kg LWG recorded this week. Cow liveweight has increased by 0.5 - 1.0 kgLWG/cow/day over the past month.
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 26 March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.herd bcs 170418

 

  • At 26th March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 258 to 254, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 95 to 66. Total cow numbers that were Condition scored have also dropped a little, from 533 to 529. The number of cows at CS 4.5 has increased from 186 to 209.bcs 170418

 

  • The individual cow condition scores from late March are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below. These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get to their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules, there will be 25 cows dried off this Friday. 13 Rising three year olds and 12 mixed age cows - with current CS of 4 or less. 11 lame cows and 1 low production cow have been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

 

 Rising 3 year old

Cow Condition

Dry off time (days before Calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

      1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April -5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20 -30 May

5

60

NA

NA

 

This strategy requires the feeding of appropriate quantities of good quality feed to the cows that are being dried off, i.e. - above maintenance levels.

Growing conditions

  • The cold southerly weather pattern that occurred last week dropped the average 9 am soil temperature to 9.7°C (compared to 14.6°C average for the previous week).

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weekssoil temp 170418

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).soil moist 170418

 

  • 26.8 mils of rainfall occurred this week.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  • There will be no more irrigation this season.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen has now finished for this season, (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha
  • A total of nearly 23 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 6.27 kgDM/ milking cow/day) or 6.13kgDM/cow/day all cows on farm.
  • The farm grazed an average of 4.8 ha/day, giving a round length of 33 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedgefeed wedge 170418

 

 

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line assumes fully feeding cows on grass. It is calculated as follows:
  1. 500 cows eating 18.7 kgDM/cow/day = 9350 kgDM/day (Demand of 58 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. Target round length is a minimum 32 days. (160ha/32days) = 5 ha grazed/day
  3. 9350 kgDM/day / 5 ha/day = 1870 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1870 + 1600 = 3470 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
  5. Given silage is being fed at an average of 6.4 kgDM/cow/day, then demand from pasture decreases to 12.3 kgDM/cow/day.
  6. Demand from pasture is therefore 500 cows * 12.3 = 6150 kgDM, or 38 kgDM/ha/day.
  7. Pregraze cover is therefore 6150kgDM/5ha/day = 1230 kgDM/ha + 1600 residual = 2830kgDM/ha.
  • Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions:
  1. Milk production of 1.36 kg MS/cow/day requires 95 MJME/day
  2. Maintenance and walking requires 70 MJME/day
  3. Average Weight gain of approx. 1 kgLWG/day requires 50 MJME/day
  4. Pregnancy - at this stage small, assumed ½ kgDM /day or 6 MJME/day
  5. Total energy requirement is therefore 221 MJME/cow/day
  6. At average energy content of 11.8MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 18.7 kgDM/cow/day.
  7. There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, 90% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 21 kgDM/cow/day and pregrazing covers of 3060 kgDM/ha.
  • Cooler growing conditions have resulted in a decrease in APC this week, from 2435 kgDM/ha to 2306 kgDM/ha. This implies total available feed for the week (growth rate plus silage fed) is less than feed demand. The decrease of 129 kgDM/ha is equivalent to 18 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Pasture Coach, estimated a growth rate of 34 kgDM/ha/day for this week.
  • If total feed demand is 58 kgDM/ha as calculated above from milk production, and considering 6.4 kgDM/cow/day was fed as silage (20 kgDM/ha/day, assuming 100% utilisation) then demand from pasture is approximately 35 kgDM/ha/day excluding the change in APC (equivalent to approx. 18kgDM/ha/day) or only 17 kgDM/ha after allowing for the decrease in APC.

 

Feed management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure a minimum round length of 32 days.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
  1. Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs) (48 cents if only 80% utilisation).
  2. Milk price of $6.55/kgMS
  3. Herd average production of 1.36 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test)
  4. Total revenue per day $8.91
  5. Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 18.7 kgDM/cow/day = $7.10. This rises to $8.90/day at 80% utilisation.
  • The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (eg staff and shed costs or changes in cull price over the season).
  • A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 12 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 19kgDM/cow/day / 160 ha) - and therefore reduce the need for some of the silage.

Tuesday 10th April 2018

Focus for 2017/18 season:  nil-infrastructure, low input,

low n-loss, maximise 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.  FEW 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
  3. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.

Key numbers – week ending Tuesday 10th April 2018

Average pasture cover

2435 kgDM/ha (Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture growth rate

48 kgDM (Rising Plate Meter), 38 based on back calculating from demand

Round length

32 days (for 160ha)

Average supplement used (milking cows)

6.6 kgDM/milking cow/day

Number of cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Average soil temperature (week)

13.6°C

SSC

167,000

Average kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.36 kgMS

Protein/Fat

0.77

Milk Fat – 5.89%

Milk Protein – 4.53%

Notices

  • The next Farm Walk will be held on Tuesday 17th April 2018, 9-11am.  Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots.  Phone SIDDC on 03 423 0022.
  • Please note that all farm visitors are now required to use boot washing facilities and disinfectant mat on arrival (it is also recommended to use on departure).
  • The next LUDF Focus Day is on Thursday 3rd May.  Parking will be off Ellesmere Junction Road.

 

By: Pete Hancox (Farm Manager), Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

Herd management

  • The milking herd has a total of 524 cows in milk; 505 twice-a-day milkers, and 16 once-a-day milkers (lames).  No mastitis cows, 4 cows on Depo for lameness.  12 lame cows have been dried off.  Total demand is based on 536 cows on farm.
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform.
  • 4 new lame cows this week; no new mastitis cases.
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd.  The makeup of the small herd changed on 15 January to a group of 160 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-19 lactation.
  • The average whole herd liveweight has continued to increase with a further 10kg LWG recorded this week.  Cow liveweight has increased by 0.5-1.0 kgLWG/cow/day over the past month, depending which weeks the comparison is made across.
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 26 March.  The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, the same as the previous month.

 herd bcs 100418

  • At 26th March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 258 to 254, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 95 to 66.  Total cow numbers that were condition scored have also dropped a little, from 533 to 529.  The number of cows at CS 4.5 has increased from 186 to 209.

bcs 100418 

  • The individual cow condition scores from late March are being used in conjunction with the dry-off rules presented below.  These are used on an individual cow basis and assume cows are well fed once dried off, to enable sufficient time to get their appropriate calving BCS targets.
  • Following these dry-off rules, there will be 25 cows dried off over the next week.  13 Rising three year olds and twelve mixed age cows – with current CS of 4 or less.  11 lame cows and 1 low production cow have been dried off to date.

Cows (4 years old and older)

Cow condition

Dry off time (days before calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4

80

10-20 May

20-30 May

4.5

60

NA

NA

Rising 3 year old

Cow condition

Dry off time (days before calving)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 1-15 August)

Date cow need to be dried off (calving date 15-30 August)

3.5

120

1-15 April

15-30 April

4

100

20 April – 5 May

5-15 May

4.5

80

10-20 May

20-30 May

5

60

NA

NA

This strategy requires the feeding of appropriate quantities of good quality feed to the cows that are being dried off, i.e. above maintenance levels.

Growing conditions

  • The average 9am soil temperature for the past week was 14.6°C (similar to last week, 15°C).
  • 20mm rainfall occurred last night and rain is subsequently falling today, Tuesday 10th April.

Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks:soil temp 100418

 

Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2):soil moisture 100418

 

  • Soil temperature has decreased with the cold southerly weather pattern today.
  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  • There has been no irrigation over the last week.  It is most likely that there will be no more irrigation this season.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen has now finished for this season (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha.
  • A total of nearly 24.1 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 6.6 kg/DM/milking cow/day, or 6.4 kgDM/cow/day all cows on farm).
  • The farm grazed an average of 4.93 ha/day, giving a round length of 32 days.
  • 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 1900 kgDM/ha which is power than previous seasons.  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 2600 kgDM/ha and required an average growth rate over the winter of 11.5 kgDM/ha/day.

This week's feed wedge:

feed wedge 100418

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    • 536 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 10184 kgDM/day (demand of 64 kgDM/ha/day over 160ha).
    • Target round length is a minimum of 32 days.  (160ha/32days = 5ha grazed/day)
    • 10184 kgDM/day/5day/day = 2037 kgDM/ha
    • Pre-graze cover required is therefore 2037 + 1650 = 3687 kgDM/ha if feeding solely on pasture.
    • Given silage is being fed at an average of 6.4 kgDM/cow/day, then demand from pasture decreases to 12.6 kgDM/cow/day.
    • Demand from pasture is therefore 536 cows * 12.6 = 6754 kgDM, or 42 kgDM/ha/day.
    • Pregraze cover is therefore 6754 kgDM/5ha/day = 1351 kgDM/ha + 1650 residual = 3001 kgDM/ha.
  • Feed demand above is calculated using the following assumptions (see DairyNZ Facts and Figures for details):
    • Milk production of 1.36 kgMS/cow/day requires 106 MJME/day.
    • Maintenance and walking requires 67 MJME/day (59 for maintenance and 8 for walking).
    • Average weight gain of approx. 0.9 kgLWG/day requires 45 MJ/cow/day (50 MJME/kgLWG).
    • Pregnancy – at this stage small, assumed ½ kgDM/day or 6 MJME/day.
    • Total energy requirement is therefore 221 MJME/cow/day.
    • At average energy content of 11.8 MJME/kgDM this equates to an intake of 19 kgDM/cow/day, which is 3.9% of cow live weight..
    • There is no allowance for wastage or low utilisation in these calculations, including the industry standard given good/dry conditions or 94% utilisation of the above feed requires feed offered increasing to 20 kgDM/cow/day and pregrazing covers of 3108 kgDM/ha.
  • APC has decreased a little further this week, from 2489 kgDM/ha to 2435 kgDM/ha.  This implies total available feed for the week (growth rate plus silage fed) is less than feed demand.  The decrease of 54 kgDM/ha is equivalent to an additional supply of 7.7 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Pasture Coach estimated a growth rate of 48 kgDM/ha/day for this week, still above demand when calculated as above, however:
    • If total feed demand after accounting for 6% wastage becomes 67 kgDM/ha as calculated above from milk production, and considering 6.4 kgDM/cow/day was fed as silage (21 kgDM/ha/day, if assuming 100% utilisation), and average pasture cover decreases by nearly 8 kgDM/ha/day then demand from pasture is approx 38 kgDM/ha/day.

Feed management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure a minimum round length of 32 days.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
    • Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs), 48 cents if only 80% utilisation.
    • Milk price of $6.55/kgMS.
    • Herd average production of 1.36 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test).
    • Total revenue per day $8.91
    • Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 19 kgDM/cow/day = $7.22.  This rises to $8.49/day at 85% utilisation.
  • The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (e.g. staff and shed costs or changed in cull price over the season).
  • A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 12 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 19 kgDM/cow/day/160ha), and therefore reduce the need for some of the silage.

Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Tuesday 3rd April 2018 

LUDF – focus for 2017/18 Season: Nil-Infrastructure, low input, low N-loss, maximise 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.
  3. Start setting the farm and herd up for next season with round length and BCS monitoring and management.
Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2489 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

53 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) (less based on back calculating from demand)

Round length

32 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

6.6 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

14.6⁰C

SCC

160,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.36kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.78

Milk Fat – 5.70%

Milk Protein – 4.47%

 

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 10th April 2018.

Farmers or their managers and staff are always welcome to walk with us.  Please call to notify us of your intention and bring your plate meter and clean gumboots. Phone SIDDC – 03 423 0022.

Peter Hancox, Farm Manager, Natalia Benquet, Chris Norton.

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).

Also -

Next LUDF Focus day - Thursday 3rd May at LUDF. Note parking will be off Ellesmere Junction Rd.

Herd Management

The milking herd has a total of 527 cows in milk - 489 twice-a-day milkers, and 36 once-a-day milkers (lames). 1 mastitis cow. 9 Lame cows have been dried off. Total demand is based on 536 cows on farm.

  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  • 5 new lame cows this week and 1 new mastitis cases
  • The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The makeup of the small herd changed on 15 January to a group of 160 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  • The herd was body condition scored on Monday 26 March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.

 bcs 3 apr 18

 

  • At 26th March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 258 to 254, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 95 to 66. Total cow numbers that were Condition scored have also dropped a little, from 533 to 529. The number of cows at CS 4.5 has increased from 186 to 209.

 herd mgmt bcs

Mating results

  • The first scan was completed on 8th Jan, with the fertility focus report showing a 66% 6 week Incalf rate. A scan of the whole herd on Monday 12 Feb indicates 81% in calf / 19% empty after 11 weeks mating. This limits the farms ability to undertake any production culling this season. More details are available in the notes from February farm walks.
  • Yearling heifers were scanned on Thursday 1 February, there were 7 empty and 1 free martin out of 146 total giving us a 5.4% empty rate.

Growing conditions

  • The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 14.6°C (similar to last week - 15°C).
  • No rainfall occurred this week

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

 soil temp

 

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

soil moisture

  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  • There has been no irrigation over the last week it is most likely that there will be no more irrigation this season.

Pasture and Feed Management

  • Nitrogen has now finished for this season, (as growth will be more influenced by temperature than N from now on).
  • The total average Nitrogen application across the whole farm for the season is 178 kgN/ha
  • A total of nearly 24.3 t DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 6.5 kgDM/cow/day).
  • The farm grazed an average of 5 ha/day, giving a round length of 32 days.
  • 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 which is lower than previous seasons. 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.

 

 

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    • 536 cows eating 17 kgDM/cow/day = 9,112 kgDM/day (Demand of 57 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    • We want to graze the farm on a minimum 30 day round (160ha/30days) = 5.33 ha grazed/day
    • 9,112 kgDM/day / 5.33 ha/day = 1,709 kgDM/ha
    • Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,709 + 1,550 = 3259 kgDM/ha
  • APC has decreased a little this week, from 2529 kgDM/ha to 2489 kgDM/ha. This implies total available feed for the week (growth rate plus silage fed) is less than feed demand. The decrease of 40 kgDM/ha is equivalent to 5.7 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Pasture Coach, estimated a growth rate of 53 kgDM/ha/day for this week, more realistic (believable) than last weeks 82 kgDM/ha/day.
  • If total feed demand is 57 kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, and considering 6.5 kgDM/cow/day was fed as silage (22 kgDM/ha/day, if assuming 100% utilisation) then demand from pasture was approximately 35 kgDM/ha/day.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  • Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and grass silage as required to ensure a minimum round length of 30 days. Any surplus will be used to slowly push out the round length.
  • Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  • The farm continues to hold culls on farm and in milk on the basis of the following calculations:
    • Silage cost of 38 cents/kgDM (including feeding out costs) (48 cents if only 80% utilisation).
    • Milk price of $6.55/kgMS
    • Herd average production of 1.35 kgMS/cow (culls were 3% higher on last herd test)
    • Total revenue per day $8.84
    • Total cost silage per day if sole diet fed as silage at 17 kgDM/cow/day = $6.46. This rises to $8.01/day at 80% utilisation.
  • The above calculation will differ across farms and assumes minimal additional costs for keeping culls in milk (eg staff and shed costs or changes in cull price over the season).
  • A total diet of silage is used in the above calculation as the removal of culls would reduce feed demand by approximately 10 kgDM/ha/day (100 culls * 17kgDM/cow/day / 160 ha) - and therefore reduce the need for silage.