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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 19th December 2017

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. Manage bulls through December
  2. Managing average pasture cover / cow intakes / residuals as pastures continue going to seed
  3. Monitor Soil moisture and irrigate accordingly.

 Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 19th December 2017

Ave Past Cover

 

2417 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

75 kgDM (Rising Plate Meter) / closer   to 53 when back calculate from APC.

Round length

24.4 days  (for 152ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0    kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

554 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

17.9 ⁰C

SCC

151,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.79 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.80

Milk Fat - 4.87%

Milk Protein – 3.88%

 

Next farm walk: Tuesday 8th 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. Email office@siddc.org.nz  

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

Herd management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 535 twice-a-day milkers, and 16 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. 8 new lame cows this week and 3 new mastitis case
  4. All heifer replacements have been debudded and have had a DNA sample taken. On Monday the 11th December they were vaccinated with a 7-in-1 and IBR vaccine, received a copper bullet, and were drenched. 12 of them are still being fed meal and the rest are now on a full grass diet as they are above 100 kgLW. 
  5. The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The small herd has around 168 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows and the remaining animals are all in the large herd.

Mating Progress

  1. The mating plan for the milking herd is as follows:
    1. Week minus 1 - Kiwi-Cross Frozen Sexed semen or Forward pack (every other cow)
    2. Weeks 1-3 - Forward pack Premier Sires
    3. Week 4 - Short Gestation (SGL) Dairy or Forward pack, depending on numbers returning and therefore expected number of replacements available
    4. Week 5-6 - SGL Dairy
    5. Weeks 7-9 natural bull mating, followed by SGL in weeks 10-11 or continue with bulls in week 10.
  2. On Wednesday 25th October, 68 cows that had no signs of visible oestrus cows and that had calved greater than 42 days were drafted for veterinary examination. Thirty two cows were diagnosed as cycling and given a PG injection.  Four cows had cysts and were treated and the rest were left to come on in their own time. Out of the 68 cows checked, 56 have subsequently had an AI mating.
  3. On Wednesday the 1st November, another 22 cows were put through the same process. Of these 11 received a PG injection and of them, 12 are now mated.
  4. On Tuesday 21 November, 33 cows (6% of the herd) that have not been mated yet were vet checked. Of these 5 were treated for cysts, 8 received a PG and the rest were left to come on heat on their own.
  5. A bulk milk sample, including peno milk, was collected for BVD testing. No BVD virus was detected so the herd remains BVD free (ie vaccination programme is keeping the herd clear)
  6. Mating progress (AI) for milking cows is as follows: 

Date

Week minus 1

18-24 Oct

Week 1

25-31 Oct

Week 2

1-7 Nov

Week 3

8-14 Nov

Target No Cows Mated (1st AB)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

28 (5%)

Target Cumulative No Cows Mated

 

336 (60%)

504 (90%)

530 (95%)

Actual No Cows Mated

143 (26%)

175 (31%)

149 (26%)

31 (5%)

Actual Cumulative No Cows Mated (1st AB)

 

318 (57%)

467 (83%)

498 (89%)

 

7. 98% of the herd has been mated to AB.

8.Returns have been identified and re-mated as follows:

 

Week of mating

#of cows re-mated for that week

4

50

5

46

6

68

7

38

 

9. We have 20 bulls to use for natural mating over the next 4weeks .We will rotate half in and half out on a daily basis. These were put with the herd on Tuesday 5th December.

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 17.9°C (19.3°C last week). This is a marked drop of almost 1.5 degrees form one week to the next. This has certainly helped with cow grazing behaviour and it is hoped it will also help reducing the temperature and moisture stress on the grass.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks

Soil temp 1912 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Soil Moist 1912 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. This week’s graphs represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.

3. The farm received 17.6 ml of rain this week. This has been a welcome respite from the 40 plus days without rain that the region has gone through. As per the moisture meter readings below, the rain has helped but by no means resolved the moisture deficit situation in the north block. It is clear that the irrigation challenge existing at the moment will be affecting pasture growth ability now. Contractors keep working on it with the aim of resolving the issue.

4. Irrigation started on Tuesday the 24th October on both blocks of the farm. A recurring malfunction on the safety system has meant the north pivot has not been available to use at all times, hence soil moisture is running at the bottom of the ideal range.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of coated urea has been applied to 42.04 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 104 kgN/ha
  3. 27.75 ha have been topped behind the herd. As mentioned in last week’s notes, these paddocks presented a large seed head challenge before grazing so it was decided to allow cow to be selective in their grazing and use the mower behind them to achieve residuals.
  4. The cows have struggled to achieve good post-grazing residuals in some of the paddocks as the heat (and irrigation challenges in the north block) have meant pasture have been seeding for the past 4 weeks. This has resulted in a small loss in milk production for the week.

 

  Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

Feed wedge 1912 17                       

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day
    2. 20 bull eating 12 kgDM/bull/day = 240 kgDM/day
    3. Total demand: 9,972 + 240 = 10,212 kgDM/day (or 67 kgDM/ha/day)
    4. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (151.7ha/25days) = 6.1 ha grazed/day
    5. 10,212 kgDM/day / 6.1 ha/day = 1,674kgDM/ha
    6. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,674 + 1,600 = 3,374 kgDM/ha
  2. To better reflect estimated intake, some of the figures for the pre-grazing cover calculations have changed from last week: the number of bull dropped from 32 to 20 (error last week), the intake per bull dropped from 15 kgDM/bull/day to 12 kg DM/bull/day and the post-grazing residuals dropped from 1650 kgDM/ha down to 1600 kgDM/ha. Residuals have dropped as a result of the post grazing mowing.
  3. Even with these adjustments, the reported APC has dropped for the week from 2513 to 2417 DM/ha, indicating that the weekly growth of 75 kgDM/ha is overestimated. A drop of APC of 96 kgDM/ha/day is equivalent to supply of nearly 14kgDM/ha/day, so if demand is 67, real growth may be closer to 53kgDM/ha/day. (see below).
  4. Pasture coach now reports virtually no feed surplus or deficit across the farm.
  5. Stem elongation and seed head appearance remains visible on observation.
  6. Paddocks that have been pre-graze mown or topped behind the cows seem to be coming back with good quality pastures.
  7. Again this week, paddocks in the north block, with the heat and the irrigation challenges, have shown slow growth rates for the week (around 40 kgDM/ha/day) vs south block paddocks where irrigation and heavier soils have meant high growth rates (around 100 kgDM/ha/day). Also visible is the difference in the amount of seed head presented in either block, with the north showing more evident signs of grass stress.

Feed Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass only as long as the growth through the week remains at or above demand. Having checked the upcoming weather for the week with sunny and hot days, this is realistic.
  2. The target round length remains around 25 days.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
  4. Post-grazing mowing will most likely be done in a couple of paddocks through this next week in light of the seed head and stem elongation evidence on them. This decision will not apply to all paddocks grazed this week.
  5. Paddock N1 is being cultivated now and will be sown in the next couple of days. The seed mix is
  • 25 kg/ha Shogun
  • 3 kg/ha Agritonic plantain
  • 2 kg/ha Weka White clover
  • 2 kg/ha Kotuku (large leaf white clover).

Tuesday, 12th December 2017


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. Manage bulls through December
  2. Managing average pasture cover / cow intakes / residuals as pastures start going to seed
  3. Monitor Soil moisture and irrigate accordingly. 

Next farm walk: Tuesday 19th December. 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. 

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 554 cows in milk - 549 twice-a-day milkers, and 4 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. 4 new lame cows this week and no new mastitis case
  4. All heifer replacements have been debudded and have had a DNA sample taken. Yesterday they were all vaccinated with a 7-in-1 and IBR vaccine, and have received a copper bullet, and been drenched. 12 of them are still being fed meal and the rest are now on a full grass diet as they are above 100 kgLW. 
  5. The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The small herd has around 170 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows and the remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  6. The herd was body condition scored on Monday the 27th November. The average BCS for the whole herd is 4.5, an increase of 0.1 BCS from the previous month.

BCS 1 11 12

 

BCS 2 11 12

 

 

 

Mating Progress

  1. Yearling heifers:
    1. Started AI mating with Daughter proven KiwiXX (easy calving sires only), based on daily visual detection on Tuesday 10th October.
    2. On 16th October any heifers not yet mated received a single PG and were then AI mated over the next 4 days as they showed visual signs of cycling.
    3. In total, 134 (out of the 146) were AI mated in 11 days.
  2. 61% of yearling heifers are InCalf to AB.

MINDA 11 12

  1. Milkers:
    1. Milking cows were metrichecked on 6th September with 10 treated for metritis and bloods were taken. Results show that calcium, magnesium, phosphate and copper levels are okay. However selenium and iodine levels are on the low side.
    2. All milking cows were tail painted on Tuesday 19th September and observation of Pre-mating heats began on Wednesday the 20th September. 59 cows have shown signs of heat during week 1, 87 cows during week 2, 107 during week 3 and 150 in the final week before mating started.
    3. The InCalf target is 90% cows submitted at the end of 3 weeks of mating. 90% of 560 is 504, therefore the target is 168 cows /week or 24/day.
    4. In terms of total number of cows showing heat pre-mating, 344 cows were observed as cycling in the three weeks immediately preceding the start of mating. This represents 61% of the herd having shown signs of heat before mating (target was 75%).
    5. Mating started on Wednesday 18th October
    6. After 3 weeks of AB the submission rate was 83% cf 82% last season (note mating started a week earlier this season)
  2. The mating plan for the milking herd is as follows:
    1. Week minus 1 - Kiwi-Cross Frozen Sexed semen or Forward pack (every other cow)
    2. Weeks 1-3 - Forward pack Premier Sires
    3. Week 4 - Short Gestation (SGL) Dairy or Forward pack, depending on numbers returning and therefore expected number of replacements available
    4. Week 5-6 - SGL Dairy
    5. Weeks 7-9 natural bull mating, followed by SGL in weeks 10-11 or continue with bulls in week 10.
  3. On Wednesday 25th October, 68 cows that had no signs of visible oestrus cows and that had calved greater than 42 days were drafted for veterinary examination. Thirty two cows were diagnosed as cycling and given a PG injection.  Four cows had cysts and were treated and the rest were left to come on in their own time. Out of the 68 cows checked, 56 have now been mated by now.
  4. On Wednesday the 1st November, another 22 cows were put through the same process. Of these 11 received a PG injection and of them, 12 are now mated.
  5. On Tuesday 21 November, 33 cows (6% of the herd) that have not been mated yet were vet checked. Of these 5 were treated for cysts, 8 received a PG and the rest were left to come on heat on their own.
  6. A bulk milk sample, including peno milk, was collected for BVD testing. No BVD virus was detected so the herd remains BVD free (ie vaccination programme is keeping the herd clear)
  7. Mating progress for milking cows is as follows: 

Date

Week minus 1

18-24 Oct

Week 1

25-31 Oct

Week 2

1-7 Nov

Week 3

8-14 Nov

Target No Cows Mated (1st AB)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

28 (5%)

Target Cumulative No Cows Mated

 

336 (60%)

504 (90%)

530 (95%)

Actual No Cows Mated

143 (26%)

175 (31%)

149 (26%)

31 (5%)

Actual Cumulative No Cows Mated (1st AB)

 

318 (57%)

467 (83%)

498 (89%)

  1.  To date, 98% of the herd has been mated to AB.
  2. Returns have been identified and re-mated as follows:

Week of mating

#of cows re-mated for that week

4

50

5

46

6

68

7

38

  1.  We have 20 bulls to use for natural mating over the next 4weeks .We will rotate half in and half out on a daily basis. These were put with the herd on Tuesday 5th December.

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 19.3°C (18.1°C last week).
  2. The farm received no rain this week.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks  

Temperature 11 12

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

  1. This week’s graphs represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.  

Mositure 11 12

  1. Irrigation started on Tuesday the 24th October on both blocks of the farm. A recurring malfunction on the safety system has meant the north pivot has not been available to use at all times, hence soil moisture is running at the bottom of the ideal range. Irrigation happened for 4 days in the North block and 7 days in the South Block.
  2. The moisture meter reading shown above belongs in paddock N2 in the north block. It is clear that the irrigation challenge existing at the moment will be affecting pasture growth ability now. Contractors keep working on it with the aim of resolving the issue.

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of coated urea has been applied to 38.47 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 98kgN/ha
  3. A mix of silage and some mowing has been used this week. This resulted in a 22.7 days round length for the week:
    1. 18.96 ha have been mown behind the herd.
    2. no pre-graze mowing was done
    3. Paddock N1 (8.3 ha) has been harvested for silage (yielding 5.7 tDM total) in preparation for cultivation and regrassing
  4. The cows have struggled to achieve good post-grazing residuals in some of the paddocks as the heat (and irrigation challenges in the north block) have mean pasture have been seeding for the past 3 weeks. Together with the intense heat experienced through the week, this has resulted in a small loss in milk production for the week. 

  Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

Wedge 11 12 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 554 cows eating 18 kgDM/cow/day = 9,972 kgDM/day
    2. 32 bull eating 15 kgDM/bull/day = 480 kgDM/day
    3. Total demand: 9,972 + 480 = 10,452 kgDM/day (or 69 kgDM/ha/day - from 152 ha)
    4. We want to graze the farm on a 25 day round (151.7ha/25days) = 6.1 ha grazed/day
    5. 10,452 kgDM/day / 6.1 ha/day = 1,713kgDM/ha
    6. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,713 + 1,650 = 3,363 kgDM/ha
  1. Reported APC has remained stable 2513 vs 2515 kg DM/ha, indicating that the weekly growth of 97 kgDM/ha, is overstated and more likely to be a growth rate of about 70, ie growth = demand.
  2. Stem elongation and seed head appearance remains visible on observation. There are 2 paddocks in particular where seed head is very evident. These 2 paddocks will be grazed by cows and have been earmarked for topping after grazing. They are the first 2 paddocks on the feed wedge.
  3. Paddocks that have been pre-graze mown or topped behind the cows seem to be coming back with good quality lush pastures. Last week’s grazing paddocks in the north block, though, with the heat and the irrigation challenges, have shown slow growth rates for the week (around 35-40 kgDM/ha/day) vs south block paddocks where irrigation and heavier soils have meant high growth rates (around 100-120 kgDM/ha/day)

Feeding Management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass only as long as the growth through the week remains at or above demand. Having checked the upcoming weather for the week with sunny and hot days, this is realistic.
  2. The target round length remains around 25 days.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
  4. Post-grazing mowing will most likely be done in a couple of paddocks through this next week in light of the seed head and stem elongation evidence on them. This decision will not apply to all paddocks grazed this week.
  5. Paddock N1 will be cultivated early next week.

Datasheet

LUDF Weekly report

21-Nov-17

28-Nov-17

5-Dec-17

12-Dec-17

Farm grazing ha (available to milkers)

160

160

152

152

Dry Cows on farm / East blk /Jackies/other

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

Culls (Includes culls put down & empties)

0

0

2

0

Culls total to date

18

18

20

20

Deaths (Includes cows put down)

0

0

1

1

Deaths total to date

12

12

13

14

Calved Cows available (Peak No 560…)

558

558

555

554

Treatment / Sick mob   total

0

1

0

0

Mastitis clinical treatment

0

1

0

0

Mastitis clinical YTD (tgt below 64 yr end)

33

34

34

34

Bulk milk SCC (tgt Avg below 150)

122

135

138

138

Lame new cases

3

6

2

4

Lame   ytd

47

53

55

59

Lame days YTD (Tgt below 1000 yr end)

666

771

848

904

Other/Colostrum

0

0

0

0

Milking twice a day into vat

523

522

549

549

Milking once a day into vat

35

35

6

4

Small herd

143

143

170

170

Main Herd

380

379

379

375

MS/cow/day (Actual kg / Cows into vat only)

2.13

2.06

1.93

1.84

Milk Protein/Fat ratio

0.83

0.82

0.81

0.81

Milk Fat %

4.84

4.83

4.81

4.84

Milk Protein %

4.00

3.97

3.92

3.91

MS/cow to date (total kgs / Peak Cows 560

175

188

203

215

MS/ha/day (total kgs / ha used

7.38

7.14

6.70

6.71

Herd Average Cond'n Score

 

4.50

 

 

Monitor grp LWkg WOW 281 early calvers

462

464

467

469

Soil Temp  Avg Aquaflex

14.8

16.6

18.1

19.3

Growth Rate (kgDM/ha/day)

87

89

87

97

Plate meter height - ave half-cms

14.0

15.0

14.4

14.4

Ave Pasture Cover  (x140 + 500)

2455

2595

2515

2513

Surplus/[defict] on feed wedge- tonnes

0

0

0

0

Pre Grazing cover (ave for week)

3050

3060

3100

3225

Post Grazing cover (ave for week)

1550

1550

1550

1550

Highest pregrazing cover

3250

3300

3400

3250

Area grazed / day (ave for week)

7.28

6.50

5.10

6.67

Grazing Interval

22

25

30

23

Milkers Offered/grazed  kg DM pasture

 

 

 

 

Estimated intake pasture  MJME

 

 

 

 

Milkers offered  kg DM Grass silage

 

 

 

 

Silage MJME/cow offered

 

 

 

 

Estimated intake Silage  MJME

 

 

 

 

Estimated total intake  MJME

 

 

 

 

Target total MJME Offered/eaten (includes 6% waste)

 

 

 

 

Pasture ME (pre grazing sample)

 

12.1

11.4

 

Pasture % Protein

 

21.6

15.6

 

Pasture % DM - Concern below 16%

 

15.0

15.5

 

Pasture % NDF  Concern < 33

 

35.0

41.7

 

Mowed pre or post grazing YTD

23.0

25.5

49.1

68.1

Total area mowed YTD

48.6

51.1

81.9

109.1

Supplements fed to date kg per cow (555peak)

118.0

118.0

118.0

118.0

Supplements Made Kg DM / ha cumulative

85.87

102.67

201.42

237.17

Units N applied/ha and % of farm

40units /21%

25units/ 25.8%

25units/16.5%

25units/24%

Kgs N to Date (whole farm)

82

88

92

98

Rainfall   (mm)

0

0

0

0

Aquaflex topsoil relative to fill point target 60 - 80%

60-70

60-70

60-70

40-60

Tuesday, 5th December 2017

 

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. Manage bulls through December
  2. Managing average pasture cover / cow intakes / residuals as pastures start going to seed
  3. Monitor Soil moisture and irrigate accordingly. 

Next farm walk: Tuesday 12th December. 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. 

Key Numbers - week ending Tuesday 5th December 2017

 

Ave Past Cover

 

2515 kgDM/ha

(Rising Plate Meter)

Past Growth Rate

87 kgDM (Rising Plate Meter)

Round length

29.8 days  (for 160 ha)

Ave Supplement used (Milking cows)

0  kgDM/cow/day

No Cows on farm

555 (total cows)

Ave Soil Temp (week)

18.1 ⁰C

SCC

138,000

Ave kgMS/cow/day (cows in vat)

1.93 kgMS

Protein / Fat

0.81

Milk Fat - 4.81%

Milk Protein – 3.92%

Herd Management

  1. The milking herd has a total of 555 cows in milk - 549 twice-a-day milkers, and 6 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. 2 new lame cows this week and no new mastitis case
  4. All heifer replacements have been debudded and have had a DNA sample taken. Yesterday they were all vaccinated with a 7-in-1 and IBR vaccine, and have received a copper bullet, and been drenched. 12 of them are still being fed meal and the rest are now on a full grass diet as they are above 100 kgLW. 
  5. The farm continues to run 2 main herds plus the OAD herd. The small herd has around 171 first calving heifers and a few low BCS cows and the remaining animals are all in the large herd.
  6. The herd was body condition scored on Monday the 27th November. The average BCS for the whole herd is 4.5, an increase of 0.1 BCS from the previous month.

BCS 5 12

 

BCS 5 12 2

Mating Progress

  1. Yearling heifers:
    1. Started AI mating with Daughter proven KiwiXX (easy calving sires only), based on daily visual detection on Tuesday 10th October.
    2. On 16th October any heifers not yet mated received a single PG and were then AI mated over the next 4 days as they showed visual signs of cycling.
    3. In total, 134 (out of the 146) were AI mated in 11 days.
  2. 61% of yearling heifers are InCalf to AB. 

MINDA 5 12

  1. Milkers:
    1. Milking cows were metrichecked on 6th September with 10 treated for metritis and bloods were taken. Results show that calcium, magnesium, phosphate and copper levels are okay. However selenium and iodine levels are on the low side.
    2. All milking cows were tail painted on Tuesday 19th September and observation of Pre-mating heats began on Wednesday the 20th September. 59 cows have shown signs of heat during week 1, 87 cows during week 2, 107 during week 3 and 150 in the final week before mating started.
    3. The InCalf target is 90% cows submitted at the end of 3 weeks of mating. 90% of 560 is 504, therefore the target is 168 cows /week or 24/day.
    4. In terms of total number of cows showing heat pre-mating, 344 cows were observed as cycling in the three weeks immediately preceding the start of mating. This represents 61% of the herd having shown signs of heat before mating (target was 75%).
    5. Mating started on Wednesday 18th October
    6. After 3 weeks of AB the submission rate was 83% cf 82% last season (note mating started a week earlier this season)
  2. The mating plan for the milking herd is as follows:
    1. Week minus 1 - Kiwi-Cross Frozen Sexed semen or Forward pack (every other cow)
    2. Weeks 1-3 - Forward pack Premier Sires
    3. Week 4 - Short Gestation (SGL) Dairy or Forward pack, depending on numbers returning and therefore expected number of replacements available
    4. Week 5-6 - SGL Dairy
    5. Weeks 7-9 natural bull mating, followed by SGL in weeks 10-11 or continue with bulls in week 10.
  3. On Wednesday 25th October, 68 cows that had no signs of visible oestrus cows and that had calved greater than 42 days were drafted for veterinary examination. Thirty two cows were diagnosed as cycling and given a PG injection.  Four cows had cysts and were treated and the rest were left to come on in their own time. Out of the 68 cows checked, 56 have now been mated by now.
  4. On Wednesday the 1st November, another 22 cows were put through the same process. Of these 11 received a PG injection and of them, 12 are now mated.
  5. On Tuesday 21 November, 33 cows (6% of the herd) that have not been mated yet were vet checked. Of these 5 were treated for cysts, 8 received a PG and the rest were left to come on heat on their own.
  6. A bulk milk sample, including peno milk, was collected for BVD testing. No BVD virus was detected so the herd remains BVD free (ie vaccination programme is keeping the herd clear)
  7. Mating progress for milking cows is as follows:

 

Date

Week minus 1

18-24 Oct

Week 1

25-31 Oct

Week 2

1-7 Nov

Week 3

8-14 Nov

Target No Cows Mated (1st AB)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

168 (30%)

28 (5%)

Target Cumulative No Cows Mated

 

336 (60%)

504 (90%)

530 (95%)

Actual No Cows Mated

143 (26%)

175 (31%)

149 (26%)

31 (5%)

Actual Cumulative No Cows Mated (1st AB)

 

318 (57%)

467 (83%)

498 (89%)

 

  1. To date, 98% of the herd has been mated to AB.
  2. Returns have been identified and re-mated as follows:

Week of mating

#of cows re-mated for that week

4

50

5

46

6

68

7

38

 

  1. We have 32 bulls to use for natural mating over the next 4weeks .We will rotate half in and half out on a daily basis. These have been put with the herd today.

Growing Conditions

  1. The average 9 am soil temperature for the past week was 18.1°C (16.6°C last week).
  2. The farm received no rain this week.

Figure 1: Soil temperature history for the last 2 weeks  

temperature 5 12

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

  1. This week’s graphs represents the reading from the North Block moisture meters.  

Moisture 5 12

  1. Irrigation started on Tuesday the 24th October on both blocks of the farm. A recurring malfunction on the safety system has meant the north pivot has not been available to use at all times, hence soil moisture is running at the bottom of the ideal range. 

Pasture and Feed Management

  1. Nitrogen, in the form of coated urea has been applied to 26.48 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 92kgN/ha
  3. A mix of silage and some mowing has been used this week to keep up with the surplus pasture observed last week. This resulted in a 29.8 days round length for the week:
    1. 12.66 ha have been mown behind the herd.
    2. 10.9 ha have been pre-graze mown
    3. Paddock N8 (7.2 ha) has been harvested for silage yielding 15.8 tDM total
  4. Paddock N1 will be sprayed this coming week and harvested for silage before cultivating for regressing.
  5. The farm grazed a 29.8 day round this past week and cows have struggled to achieve good post-grazing residuals in some of the paddocks. Together with the intense heat experienced through the week, this has resulted in a small loss in milk production for the week. 

  Figure 3: This week’s feed wedge

wedge 5 12 

  1. The pregrazing required for the demand line is calculated as follows:
    1. 555 cows eating 19 kgDM/cow/day = 10,545 kgDM/day or 66 kgDM/ha/day)
    2. We want to graze the farm on a 24 day round = 6.6 ha grazed/day
    3. 10,545 kgDM/day / 6.6 ha/day = 1,597kgDM/ha
    4. Pre-graze cover required is therefore 1,597 + 1,650 = 3,247 kgDM/ha
  2. Reported APC has dropped from 2599 to 2515 kg DM/ha, indicating total demand (including the silage) is more than growth for the week. Pasture coach now reports a feed surplus of 10 tDM total across the farm. (based on target APC of 2450kgDM/ha).
  3. With the calculated demand from pasture of 66kgDM/ha/day and a reported growth of 87 kgDM/ha, the Average Pasture Cover should have increased to 2746 kgDM/ha. The 15.8 tDM harvested as silage would have taken care of 99kgDM/ha across the farm cover, bringing APC back down to 2,647 kgDM/ha. As the reported APC is only 2515 kgDM/ha, its likely the growth rate for the week - calculated from paddock yields - could be overestimated.
  4. Stem elongation and seed head appearance remains visible on observation. Pastures are continue to feel “crunchy” underfoot. Overestimation of covers at this time of year is not uncommon.

Feeding management for the coming week

  1. Milkers will continue to be fed on grass only as long as the growth through the week remains at or above demand. Having checked the upcoming weather for the week with sunny and hot days, this is realistic.
  2. The target round length remains around 25 days.
  3. Nitrogen will continue to be applied through the week following grazing.
  4. Pre-grazing mowing will most likely be done in a couple of paddocks through this next week in light of the seed head and stem elongation evidence on them. This decision will not apply to all paddocks grazed this week.
  5. With the surplus available on farm, paddock N1 will be sprayed this Friday and then harvested for silage a couple of days later.

Datasheet

LUDF Weekly report

14-Nov-17

21-Nov-17

28-Nov-17

5-Dec-17

Farm grazing ha (available to milkers)

160

160

160

152

Dry Cows on farm / East blk /Jackies/other

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

0/0/0/0

Culls (Includes culls put down & empties)

0

0

0

2

Culls total to date

18

18

18

20

Deaths (Includes cows put down)

0

0

0

1

Deaths total to date

12

12

12

13

Calved Cows available (Peak No 560…)

558

558

558

555

Treatment / Sick mob   total

3

0

1

0

Mastitis clinical treatment

3

0

1

0

Mastitis clinical YTD (tgt below 64 yr end)

33

33

34

34

Bulk milk SCC (tgt Avg below 150)

132

122

135

138

Lame new cases

4

3

6

2

Lame   ytd

44

47

53

55

Lame days YTD (Tgt below 1000 yr end)

561

666

771

848

Other/Colostrum

0

0

0

0

Milking twice a day into vat

520

523

522

549

Milking once a day into vat

35

35

35

6

Small herd

142

143

143

170

Main Herd

378

380

379

379

MS/cow/day (Actual kg / Cows into vat only)

2.14

2.13

2.06

1.93

Milk Protein/Fat ratio

0.82

0.83

0.82

0.81

Milk Fat %

4.82

4.84

4.83

4.81

Milk Protein %

3.97

4.00

3.97

3.92

MS/cow to date (total kgs / Peak Cows 560

160

175

188

203

MS/ha/day (total kgs / ha used

7.41

7.38

7.14

6.70

Herd Average Cond'n Score

0.00

0.00

4.50

0.00

Monitor grp LWkg WOW 281 early calvers

459

462

464

467

Soil Temp  Avg Aquaflex

13.5

14.8

16.6

18.1

Growth Rate (kgDM/ha/day)

66

87

89

87

Plate meter height - ave half-cms

13.5

14.0

15.0

14.4

Ave Pasture Cover  (x140 + 500)

2384

2455

2595

2515

Surplus/[defict] on feed wedge- tonnes

-10

0

0

0

Pre Grazing cover (ave for week)

3168

3050

3060

3100

Post Grazing cover (ave for week)

1550

1550

1550

1550

Highest pregrazing cover

3250

3250

3300

3400

Area grazed / day (ave for week)

6.61

7.28

6.50

5.10

Grazing Interval

24

22

25

30

Milkers Offered/grazed  kg DM pasture

 

 

 

 

Estimated intake pasture  MJME

 

 

 

 

Milkers offered  kg DM Grass silage

 

 

 

 

Silage MJME/cow offered

 

 

 

 

Estimated intake Silage  MJME

 

 

 

 

Estimated total intake  MJME

 

 

 

 

Target total MJME Offered/eaten (includes 6% waste)

 

 

 

 

Pasture ME (pre grazing sample)

11.8

 

12.1

 

Pasture % Protein

17.2

 

21.6

 

Pasture % DM - Concern below 16%

13.8

 

15.0

 

Pasture % NDF  Concern < 33

38.1

 

35.0

 

Mowed pre or post grazing YTD

23.0

23.0

25.5

49.1

Total area mowed YTD

46.7

48.6

51.1

81.9

Supplements fed to date kg per cow (555peak)

118.0

118.0

118.0

118.0

Supplements Made Kg DM / ha cumulative

85.87

85.87

102.67

201.42

Units N applied/ha and % of farm

40units/ 31%

40units /21%

25units/ 25.8%

25units/ 16.5%

Kgs N to Date (whole farm)

74

82

88

92

Rainfall   (mm)

0

0

0

0

Aquaflex topsoil relative to fill point target 60 - 80%

60-70

60-70

60-70

60-70

Previous months Farm Walk Notes

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