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Latest Farm Walk Notes

Farm Walks are held every Tuesday morning throughout the year starting 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 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Tuesday 27th March 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 27th March 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2529 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

82 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 59 kgDM / ha / day based demand.

Round length

29 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

4.9 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

15⁰C

SCC

145,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.35kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.81

Milk Fat – 5.58%

Milk Protein – 4.49%

Herd Management

  • The milking herd has a total of 534 cows in milk - 503 twice-a-day milkers, and 27 once-a-day milkers (lames) 4 mastitis cows
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  • 7 new lame cows this week and 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 herd was body condition scored on Monday 26 March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.

herd mgmt 270318

  •  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 270318

 

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 15°C (similar to last week - 15.1°C).
  • 21 mm’s rainfall occurred this week

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

soil temp 270318

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

soil moist 270318

 

  • 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 been applied to 20.5 ha (non-effluent areas) this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha. This was our last application 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 18583 Kg DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 4.9 kgDM/cow/day).
  • The farm grazed an average of 5.48ha/day, giving a round length of 29 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.

feed wedge 270318

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
  1. 536 cows eating 17 kgDM/cow/day = 9,112 kgDM/day (Demand of 57 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. We want to graze the farm on a minimum 30 day round (160ha/30days) = 5.33 ha grazed/day
  3. 9,112 kgDM/day / 5.33 ha/day = 1,709 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,709 + 1,550 = 3259 kgDM/ha
  • APC has increased this week, from 2405 kgDM/ha to 2529 kgDM/ha suggesting growth rate was higher than the combination of pasture eaten and silage fed. The increase of 124 kgDM/ha is equivalent to 18 kgDM/ha/day.
  • Pasture Coach, estimated a growth rate of 82 kgDM/ha/day for this week.
  • If total feed demand is 57 kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, and considering 4.9kgDM/cow/day was fed as silage (16.4kgDM/ha/day) then demand from pasture was approximately 41 kgDM/ha/day. The increase in APC of 18 kgDM/ha/day plus demand from pasture of 41 kgDM/ha/day implies a growth rate of approximately 59 kgDM/ha/day, more realistic for this time of the year than 82, as estimated by Pasture Coach.

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.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Tuesday 20th March 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 20th March 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2405 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

57 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 42 kgDM / ha / day based demand.

Round length

27 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

1.86 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

15.1⁰C

SCC

157,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.52kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.82

Milk Fat – 5.56%

Milk Protein – 4.53%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 27th March 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 534 cows in milk - 509 twice-a-day milkers, and 21 once-a-day milkers (lames) 4 mastitis cows
  • Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  • 4 new lame cows this week and 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 herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 1st March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.

 

 

 

  • At 1st March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 263 to 258, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 98 to 95.

 bcs both 200318

 

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 15.1°C (down from 15.7°C last week).
  • No rainfall occurred this week

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

 soil temp 200318

 

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

 soil moisture 200318

 

  • This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  • There has been no irrigation over the last week. The farm is showing signs of moisture stress but with the predicted rain for tomorrow onwards the decision was made to hold off irrigating.

Pasture and feed management

  • Nitrogen has been applied to 17 ha (non-effluent areas) this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha. We are being more selective where we apply Nitrogen as we are reaching our maximum limit that we want to apply (to operate within our future N-loss requirement for the farm).
  • The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 175 kgN/ha
  • No mowing occurred this week.
  • A total of nearly 7000 Kg DM of silage was fed over the last week (average of 1.86 kgDM/cow/day).
  • The farm grazed an average of 5.99ha/day, giving a round length of 27 days.

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

 feed wedge 200318

 

  • The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
  1. 536 cows eating 17 kgDM/cow/day = 9,112 kgDM/day (Demand of 57 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
  2. We want to graze the farm on a minimum 27 day round (160ha/27days) = 5.9 ha grazed/day
  3. 9,112 kgDM/day / 5.9 ha/day = 1,544 kgDM/ha
  4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,544 + 1,550 = 3,094 kgDM/ha
  • The reported APC is slightly lower than last week, indicating demand from pasture was a little higher than growth plus silage fed. APC is now estimated at 2405kg DM/ha compared to 2448 kgDM/ha last week (a decrease of 43 kgDM/ha or 6.1 kgDM/ha/day). 
  • Pasture Coach, by comparison estimated a growth rate of 57 kgDM/ha/day for this week. If total feed demand is 57 kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, and APC decreased by 6.1 kgDM/ha/day, and silage contributed 6.2kgDM/ha/day equivalent feed, then the  growth rate is likely to be closer to 42kg DM/ha/day, not 57 as estimated by Pasture Coach.

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 27 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 last application of Nitrogen for this season is likely to be applied this week following grazing.

Tuesday 13 March 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 6th March 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2448 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Pasture Growth Rate

72 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 58 kgDM / ha / day based demand.

Round length

27 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

536 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

15.7⁰C

SCC

175,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.61kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat – 5.48%

Milk Protein – 4.38%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 20th March 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. 

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. The milking herd has a total of 534 cows in milk - 505 twice-a-day milkers, and 28 once-a-day milkers (lames) 2 mastitis cows
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  3. 4 new lame cows this week and one new mastitis cases
  4. 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
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 1st March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.Calving 13 Mar 2018
  6. At 1st March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 263 to 258, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 98 to 95.BCS 1 Mar 2018
  7. BCS 11 Jan 2018

Mating Results

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 15.7°C (down from 17.5°C last week).
  2. 9.8mils of rainfall occurred this week

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 13 March 2018

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 13 Mar 2018

 

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There has been no irrigation over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen has been applied to 37.8 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas).
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 172 kgN/ha
  3. No mowing occurred this week.
  4. No silage was fed over the last week.
  5. The farm grazed an average of 5.98ha/day, giving a round length of 27 days.

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 13 Mar 2018

 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 536 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,648 kgDM/day (Demand of 60 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a minimum 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,648 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,507kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,507 + 1,550 = 3,057 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC is very similar to last week, indicating demand was similar to growth. APC is now estimated at 2448kg DM/ha compared to 2468 kgDM/ha last week (a decrease of 20 kgDM/ha or 2.8 kgDM/ha/day). 
  3. Pasture Coach, by comparison estimated a growth rate of 72 kgDM/ha/day for this week. If demand is 60kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, less 2.8 kgDM/ha/day decrease in APC, growth rate is likely to be closer to 58 kg DM/ha/day, not 72 as estimated by Pasture Coach.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass and the target round length is now a minimum of 27 days. Silage will be fed if required to achieve this. Any surplus will be used to slowly push out the round length.
  2. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.

Tuesday 6 March 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 6th March 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2468 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

81 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 66 kgDM / ha / day based demand.

Round length

26 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

542 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

17.5⁰C

SCC

147,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.64kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat – 5.36%

Milk Protein – 4.31%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 13th March 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. 

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. The milking herd has a total of 541 cows in milk - 509 twice-a-day milkers, and 31 once-a-day milkers (lames) 2 mastitis cows
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  3. 6 new lame cows this week and one new mastitis cases
  4. 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 162 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. 6 cows will be culled tomorrow - 4 lame empties plus 1 with poor udder conformation and 1 Johnes (confirmed via blood test)
  6. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 1st March. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, same as previous month.Calving 6 March 2018
  7. At 1st March CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had decreased slightly from 263 to 258, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 98 to 95.BCS 1 March 2018BCS 11 Jan 2018BCS 27 Nov 2017

Mating Results

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 15.8°C (down from 18.2°C last week).
  2. 75.2mils of rainfall occurred this week

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 6 Mar 2018

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 6 March 2018

 

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There has been no irrigation over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen has been applied to 31.56 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas).
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 167 kgN/ha
  3. No mowing occurred this week.
  4. No silage was fed over the last week.
  5. The farm grazed an average of 6.12ha/day, giving a round length of 26 days.

 Figure 3: This week’s feed wedgeFeed Wedge 6 March 2018

 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 542 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,756 kgDM/day (Demand of 61 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a minimum 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,756 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,524kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,524 + 1,550 = 3,074 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC increased modestly this week, from 2436kg DM/ha last week to 2468 kgDM/ha this week (32 kgDM/ha or 4.6 kgDM/ha/day). 
  3. Pasture Coach estimated a growth rate of 81 kgDM/ha/day for this week, approximately 20% more than anticipated from demand / change in pasture cover. If demand is 61kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, plus 4.6 kgDM/ha/day increase in APC, growth rate is likely to be closer to 66 kg DM/ha/day, not 81 as estimated by Pasture Coach.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the targeted 25 day round, and silage will be fed if required to achieve this. If we find we have a slight surplus we will use this to slowly push out our round length.
  2. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality, with cows achieving good (and timely) grazing residuals.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.

Tuesday 27 February 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 27th February 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2436 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

75 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 52 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

24 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

542(total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

15.8⁰C

SCC

187,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.62kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.78

Milk Fat – 5.39%

Milk Protein – 4.22%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 6th March 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.

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. The milking herd has a total of 541 cows in milk - 502 twice-a-day milkers, and 33 once-a-day milkers (lames)6 mastitis cows
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform
  3. 1 new lame cows this week and six new mastitis cases
  4. 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 164 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. 12 Culls were sent away this week - 6 lame empties plus 3 with poor udders and 3 with poor feet.
  6. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.Calving 27 Feb 2018
  7. At 11th January CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 156 to 98.BCS 11 Jan 2018BCS 27 Nov 2017

 

Next herd condition scoring will be done this Thursday

Mating Results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 66% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf.
  4. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  5. A scan of the whole herd on Monday 12 Feb indicates 81% in calf / 19% empty after 11 weeks mating (including the additional week of mating 1 week earlier than the normal start). This is naturally disappointing for the farm and will impact the number of cows available for next season. It suggests 4 weeks of bull mating generated a further 15% cows in calf.Pregnancy rate 27 Feb 2018
  6. 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. These were AI for 11 days then naturally mated for 52 days giving a total of 9 weeks mating.

 

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 15.8°C (down from 18.2°C last week).
  2. 75.2mils of rainfall occurred this week
  3. Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 27 Feb 2018

 

Figure 2: Soil moisture history for the last 2 weeks (Paddock N2).SMoist 27 Feb 2018

 

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There has been no irrigation over the last week.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 36.37 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be shortly, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 162 kgN/ha
  3. No mowing occurred this week.
  4. No silage was fed over the last week.
  5. The farm grazed an average of 6.77ha/day, giving a round length of 24 days.
  6. Cows grazing behaviour was a bit more normal this week

Figure 3: This week’s feed wedgeFeedWedge 27 Feb 2018 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 542 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,756 kgDM/day (Demand of 61 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,756 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,524kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,524 + 1,550 = 3,074 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC increased this week, from 2419 kg DM/ha last week to 2436 kgDM/ha this week (17 kgDM/ha or 2.4 kgDM/ha/day). 
  3. Pasture Coach estimated a growth rate of 75 kgDM/ha/day for this week, approximately 20% more than anticipated from demand / change in pasture cover. If demand is 61kgDM/ha as calculated from milk production, plus 2.4 kgDM/ha/day increase in APC, growth rate is likely to be closer to 63kg DM/ha/day, not 75 as estimated by Pasture Coach.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the targeted 25 day round, and silage will be fed if required to achieve this. If we find we have a slight surplus we will use this to slowly push out our round length.
  2. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.

Tuesday 20 February 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 20th February 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2419 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

70 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 63 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

25 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

4.54 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

18.2⁰C

SCC

189,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.61kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.79

Milk Fat – 5.25%

Milk Protein – 4.06%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 27 February 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.

Please note - LUDF Focus Day - Thursday 22 February at Ashley Dene Research and Development Station - 736 Bethels Rd, Burnham.  10.15 - 1.00pm. 

 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 552 cows in milk - 511 twice-a-day milkers, and 41 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 3 new lame cows this week and one new mastitis case
  4. 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 164 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.Calving 20 Feb 2018
  6. At 11th January CS event, the number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below had increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above had dropped from 156 to 98.BCS 11 Jan 2018BCS 27 Nov 2017

Mating Results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 66% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf.
  4. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  5. A scan of the whole herd on Monday 12 Feb indicates 81% in calf / 19% empty after 11 weeks mating (including the additional week of mating 1 week earlier than the normal start). This is naturally disappointing for the farm and will impact the number of cows available for next season. It suggests 4 weeks of bull mating generated a further 15% cows in calf.Pregnancy rate 20 Feb 2018
  6. 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. These were AI for 11 days then naturally mated for 52 days giving a total of 9 weeks mating.

Growiing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 18.2°C (up from 17.6°C last week).
  2. No rainfall occurred this week (but rain is subsequently falling on Tuesday 20th Feb)

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeksSTemp 20 Feb 2018

 

 

 

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

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There was 3 days of irrigation on North Block and 2 days irrigation on the South Block for the week.SMoist 20 Feb 2018

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 34.7 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be shortly, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 156 kgN/ha
  3. No mowing occurred this week.
  4. 17.6 tonne DM of silage was fed over the last week.
  5. The farm grazed an average of 6.43ha/day, giving a round length of 25 days.
  6. Cows grazing behaviour was a bit more normal this week

 Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

Feed Wedge 20 Feb 2018

 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (Demand of 62 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,558kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,558 + 1,550 = 3,108 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC increased this week, from 2310 kg DM/ha last week to 2419 kgDM/ha this week (119 kgDM/ha or 17 kgDM/ha/day).  
  3. Pasture Coach estimated a growth rate of 70 kgDM/ha/day for this week, however:
    1. The herd received on average 4.5 kgDM/cow/day as silage, effectively reducing demand from pasture by nearly 16 kgDM/ha/day - to approximately 46 kgDM/ha/day.
    2. Based on demand from pasture of 46 kgDM/ha/day and a 17 kgDM/ha/day increase in APC, growth rate is likely to be closer to 63kg DM/ha/day, not 70 as estimated by Pasture Coach.
    3. This growth rate based on demand is closer to the pasture coach calculated growth rate than we have seen in recent weeks.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. We will get rid of some obvious culls over the next few days to reduce demand from pasture.
  2. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the targeted 25 day round, and silage will be fed if required to achieve this. If we find we have a slight surplus we will use this to slowly push out our round length
  3. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality.
  4. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.

Tuesday 13 February 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 13 February 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2310 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

67 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 52 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

23 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

3.9 kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

17.6⁰C

SCC

210,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.67kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.79

Milk Fat – 5.15%

Milk Protein – 4.10%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 20 February 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. 

Please note - LUDF Focus Day - Thursday 22 February at Ashley Dene Research and Development Station - 736 Bethels Rd, Burnham.  10.15 - 1.00pm.

 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 520 twice-a-day milkers, and 33 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 12 new lame cows this week and one new mastitis case
  4. 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 165 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous monthCalving 11 Jan 2018
  6. The number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below has increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above has dropped from 156 to 98. BCS 11 Jan 2018BCS 27 Nov 2018

 

Mating Results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 66% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf.
  4. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  5. A scan of the whole herd on Monday 12 Feb indicates 81% in calf / 19% empty after 11 weeks mating (including the additional week of mating 1 week earlier than the normal start). This is naturally disappointing for the farm and will impact the number of cows available for next season. It suggests 3 weeks of bull mating generated a further 15% cows in calf.Pregnancy rate 13 Feb 2018
  6. 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. These were AI for 11 days then naturally mated for 52 days giving a total of 9 weeks mating.

 

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 17.6°C (down from 18.4°C last week). Overnight temperatures have remained high through most of the week.
  2. 16.8 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week.STemp 13 Feb 2018
  3. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  4. There was 4 days of irrigation on North Block and 2.5 days irrigation on the South Block for the week.SMoist 13 Feb 2018

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 44 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 151kgN/ha
  3. 11.5 Ha was topped post grazing this week.
  4. 15.1 tonne DM of silage was fed over the last week, primarily over the latter half of the week.
  5. The farm grazed an average of 6.99ha/day, giving a round length of 23 days.
  6. The heat influenced grazing behaviour once again during the week, with animals standing by the troughs rather than grazing through the heat of the day.FeedWedge 13 Feb 2018
  7. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (Demand of 62 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,558kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,558 + 1,550 = 3,108 kgDM/ha
  8. The reported APC increased marginally this week, from 2288 kg DM/ha last week to 2310kgDM/ha this week (22kgDM/ha / 3kgDM/ha/day).  
  9. Pasture Coach estimated a growth rate of 67 kgDM/ha/day for this week, however:
    1. The herd received on average 3.9 kgDM/cow/day as silage, effectively reducing demand from pasture by 13-14 kgDM/ha/day - to approximately 49kgDM/ha/day.
    2. Based on demand from pasture of 49 kgDM/ha/day and a 3 kgDM/ha/day increase in APC, growth rate is likely to be closer to 52kg DM/ha/day, not 67 as estimated by Pasture Coach.
    3. Alternatively average pasture covers could be over-estimated in recent weeks.

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. We will get rid of some obvious culls over the next few days to reduce demand from pasture.
  2. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the targeted 25 day round, and silage will be fed as required to achieve this. This is likely for the next 5-6 paddocks, given their current pasture covers of 27-2800, compared to the target pregrazing cover of 3100 kgDM/ha.
  3. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality.
  4. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.

Tuesday 6 February 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 30th January 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2288 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

72 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 50 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

19 days  (for 160ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0  kgDM/cow/day

No. Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

18.4⁰C

SCC

194,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.65kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.79

Milk Fat – 5.06%

Milk Protein – 4.02%

Next Farm Walk - Tuesday 13 February 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. 

Please note - LUDF Focus Day - Thursday 22 February at Ashley Dene Research and Development Station - 736 Bethels Rd, Burnham.  10.30 - 1.00pm. 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 520 twice-a-day milkers, and 33 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 12 new lame cows this week and one new mastitis case
  4. 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 165 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.

Calving 6 Feb 2018

  1. 6. The number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below has increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above has dropped from 156 to 98. 

BCS 11 Jan 2018

 

BCS 27 Nov 2017

Mating Results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 65% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  4. Including week 7 of mating (normal week 6) results in 68% of the herd in calf. (Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf). 

Pregnancy rate 6 Feb 2018

  1. 5. 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. These were AI for 11 days then naturally mated for 52 days giving a total of 9 weeks mating.

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 18.4°C (down from 21.5°C last week). Overnight temperatures have remained high through most of the week.
  2. 24 mm’s of rainfall occurred this week. 

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

STemp 6 Feb 2018

 

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

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There was 1 day of irrigation on North Block and 1.5 days irrigation on the South Block for the week.

 

SMoist 6 Feb 2018

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 39.18 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 144kgN/ha
  3. 23.2 Ha was topped post grazing this week. This includes paddock N1 - the new grass - which was topped following its first grazing for weed control.
  4. No silage was fed over the last week.
  5. Including the light grazing of N1 (new grass), the farm grazed an average of 8.4ha/day, giving a round length of 19 days. Excluding the new grass, the round was closer to a 23 day round.  
  6. The heat influenced grazing behaviour during the week, with animals standing by the troughs rather than grazing through the heat of the day. Residuals have thus been a bit harder to achieve.

   Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

Feed Wedge 6 Feb 2018

  1.   The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (Demand of 62 kgDM/ha/day over 160 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (160ha/25days) = 6.4 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.4 ha/day = 1,558kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,558 + 1,550 = 3,108 kgDM/ha.(Note the residual of 1550 reflects the post graze mowing as well as the grazed residual)
  2. The reported APC dropped this week, from 2428 kg DM/ha last week to 2288 kgDM/ha this week.
  3. In terms of growth rate:
    1. Pasture coach estimated a growth rate of 72 kgDM/ha/day for this week
    2. APC however has dropped by about 140 kgDM/ha (20 kgDM/ha/day), implying growth has been much lower than demand
    3. Given demand is 62 kgDM/ha/day and APC has dropped, actual growth rate is more likely to be approximately 50 kgDM/ha/day.
    4. Alternatively average pasture cover could have been over-estimated in recent weeks.
  4. Stem elongation and seed head appearance have declined noticeably now. 

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the 24-25 day round targeted, though silage will be fed if required to hold the grazing round to 24-25 days. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality.
  2. A further pregnancy test will be done on Monday 12 February. Low producing, empty cows may be sold following this if growth remains below demand.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing. 

Tuesday 30 January 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 as pastures are still going to seed
  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 30th January 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2482kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

68 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 66 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

24 days  (for 152ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0  kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

21.5⁰C

SCC

179,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.67kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat – 5.09%

Milk Protein – 4.06%

 Next Public farm walk: Tuesday 13 February 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. 

Please note - LUDF Focus Day - Thursday 22 February at Dunsandel, 10.30 - 1.00pm. 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 520 twice-a-day milkers, and 34 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 6 new lame cows this week and no new mastitis case
  4. 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 165 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd was 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.

 Calving 30 Jan 2018

6. The number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below has increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above has dropped from 156 to 98. 

BCS 11 Jan 2018

BCS 27 Nov 2017

 

Mating Results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 65% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  4. Including week 7 of mating (normal week 6) results in 68% of the herd in calf. (Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf).

Pregnancy rate 30 Jan 2018

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 21.5°C (20.5°C last week). Overnight temperatures have again been higher through the week.
  2. No rainfall occurred this week. 

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

STemp 30 Jan 2018

 

 

 

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.
  2. There was 4 days of irrigation on both blocks for the week.

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

SMoist 30 Jan 2018

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 31.2 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 144kgN/ha
  3. 20.71 Ha was topped post grazing this week.
  4. No silage fed over the last week.
  5. The farm managed a 24 day round this week.
  6. The heat seem to be a challenge for the cows this week. Grazing behaviour changed as animals stand by the troughs without grazing through the heat of the day. Residuals have been a bit harder to achieve.
  7. Some more seed head has appeared this week, though previously mowed and grazed paddocks still appear (on observation)  to have good pasture quality.

   Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

FeedWedge 30 Jan 2018

 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (66 kgDM/ha/day over 152 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (151.7ha/25days) = 6.1 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.1 ha/day = 1,635kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,635 + 1,600 = 3,235 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC dropped a little this week, from 2528 kg DM/ha last week to 2482 kgDM/ha this week.
  3. In terms of growth rate:
    1. Pasture coach estimated a growth rate of 68 kgDM/ha/day for this week
    2. APC however has dropped by about 46 kgDM/ha (6.5kgDM/ha/day), implying growth has been lower than demand
    3. Given demand is 66 kgDM/ha/day and APC has dropped, actual growth rate is more likely to be approximately 60 kgDM/ha/day.
    4. Alternatively average pasture cover could have been over-estimated last week.
  4. Stem elongation and seed head appearance have declined noticeably now. 

Feed Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the 24-25 day round targeted. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality
  2. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
  3. Paddock N1 was regrassed back in mid-December and will be grazed tonight.

Tuesday 23 January 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 as pastures are still going to seed
  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 23th January 2018

Ave Past Cover

 

2528 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

78 KgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 66 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

25 days  (for 152ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0  kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

20.5⁰C

SCC

171,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.75kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.82

Milk Fat – 4.98%

Milk Protein – 4.08%

Next farm walk: Tuesday 30 January 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. 

 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 527 twice-a-day milkers, and 27 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 6 new lame cows this week and no new mastitis case
  4. 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 165 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd is 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.

Calving 23 Jan 2018

 

6. The number of cows at BCS 4.0 or below has increased from 171 to 263, and the number of cows at 5.0 BCS or above has dropped from 156 to 98. 

BCS 11 Jan 2018

BCS 27 Nov 2017

Mating results

  1. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan.
  2. The fertility focus report shows a 65% 6 week Incalf rate, still well below the 78% target but acceptable given the farm had a slow calving rate and started mating one week early. Additionally, sexed semen was used in ½ of the cows mated in the first week. Conception rates show nearly 52% of cows mated in weeks 1-3 are in calf.
  3. First calvers have a 6 week Incalf rate of 75%, up from 69% last year.
  4. Including week 7 of mating (normal week 6) results in 68% of the herd in calf. (Last year, in part due to IBR, the farm had 63% 6-week InCalf).

Pregnancy rate 23 Jan 2018

Growing conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 20.5°C (17.5°C last week). Overnight temperatures have again been higher through the week.
  2. No rainfall occurred this week.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

STemp 23 Jan 2018

 

 

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

SMoist 23 Jan 2018

  1. This week’s graph represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters. 6 days of irrigation has maintained the soil moisture levels through the week. 

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 25.6 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha (except in effluent areas). N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 134kgN/ha
  3. 20.5 Ha was topped post grazing this week.
  4. No silage fed over the last week.
  5. The farm managed a 25 day round this week.
  6. Cows are achieving good residuals, grazing previously mowed and grazed paddocks where the pasture quality appears (on observation) much improved though some more seed head has appeared this week.

  Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

FeedWedge 23 Jan 2018

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (66 kgDM/ha/day over 152 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (151.7ha/25days) = 6.1 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.1 ha/day = 1,635kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,635 + 1,600 = 3,235 kgDM/ha
  2. The reported APC has not changed over the week - APC is 2528 kg DM/ha this week.
  3. In terms of growth rate:
    1. Pasture coach estimated a growth rate of 78 kgDM/ha/day for this week
    2. APC however has remained stable, implying growth is equal to demand
    3. Given demand is 66 kgDM/ha/day and APC has not moved, actual growth rate is more likely to be approximately 66 - 70 kgDM/ha/day.
  4. Stem elongation and seed head appearance have declined noticeably now. 

Feed management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the 24-25 day round targeted. Pasture regrowth appears to be of good quality
  2. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
  3. Paddock N1 has now been regrassed and is likely to receive a quick grazing over the next week.

Tuesday 16 January 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 as pastures are still going to seed
  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

Ave Past Cover

 

2529 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

87 kgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / 70 kgDM/ha/day based demand.

Round length

20 days  (for 152ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0.51  kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

17.9 ⁰C

SCC

160,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.75 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.78

Milk Fat – 5.20%

Milk Protein – 4.03%

Next farm walk: Tuesday 23rd January 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. 

 

 

 

 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 513 twice-a-day milkers, and 41 once-a-day milkers (lames)
  2. Trace minerals, including magnesium chloride are supplemented through the stock water to all cows on the milking platform. Extra Iodine and Selenium is being added to the mix.
  3. 9 new lame cows this week and no new mastitis case
  4. The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The small herd has been changed this week to a group of 165 mixed age cows that are below 4.5 and calving in the first 3 weeks of 2018-2019 lactation
  5. The herd was body condition scored on Thursday the 11th January. The average BCS for the whole herd is 4.3, a decrease of 0.2 BCS from the previous month.

 BCSBCS 11 JanBCS 27 Nov

Mating progress

  1. Bulls have now left the farm and mating is finished.
  2. The first scan was completed on 8th Jan, results will be included in next week’s notes.

Growing conditions

The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 17.9°C (16.6°C last week).

STemp

 

 

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

SMoist

This week’s graphs represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters and clearly shows the impact of rain late last week.

The farm received an additional 73.8 ml of rain with week, so irrigation only happened for 1 day this week on the North Block no irrigation occurred on the South Block. 

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of N-Protect has been applied to 58.9 ha for this week at a rate of 25 kgN/ha. (except in effluent areas) This application was delayed to Monday 15th January due to the wet ground conditions at the end of last week. N-Protect (Urease inhibitor coated urea) will be used until the risks of ammonia volatilisation losses have reduced. This is likely to be late summer, depending on the weather conditions over this time. 
  2. The total average Nitrogen application to date across the whole farm is 130 kgN/ha
  3. Paddock N-10 was topped post grazing this week.
  4. Cows were fed on average 0.51 kgDM silage/cow/day for the week (2 tDM total for the week). Tis was fed on one day only due to the very wet ground conditions.
  5. The farm only managed a 20 day round this week due to the very wet ground conditions.
  6. Cows are achieving good residuals, grazing previously mowed and grazed paddocks where the pasture quality appears (on observation) much improved with little seed head evident.

 

    Feed Wedge

    The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:

    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day (66 kgDM/ha/day over 152 ha)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (151.7ha/25days) = 6.1 ha grazed/day
    3. 9,972 kgDM/day / 6.1 ha/day = 1,635kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,635 + 1,600 = 3,235 kgDM/ha

    The reported APC has increased for the week from 2509 last week to 2529 kg DM/ha this week.

    1. In terms of growth rate:
      1. Pasture coach estimated a growth rate of 87 kgDM/ha/day for this week
      2. APC however has only increased by 20kgDM/ha for the week (2.8 kgDM/ha/day)
      3. Given demand is 66 kgDM/ha/day and APC has only increased 3kgDM/ha/day, actual growth rate is more likely to be approximately 70kgDM/ha/day.
    2. Stem elongation and seed head appearance have declined noticeably now. 

    Feed Management for the coming week

    1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass to hold to the 24-25 day round targeted. Pasture regrowth is lush and of good quality
    2. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
    3. There are only 3 paddocks left to be tidied up, and they are mostly weed challenges in them rather than seed head. They have been targeted for either pre-graze of post-graze mowing when their grazing turn arrives and will be done weather depending.
    4. Paddock N1 has now been regrassed and is showing a good strike rate. It is likely to be ready for grazing later in January.

    Previous months Farm Walk Notes

    Click here for previous Farm Walk Notes