Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

West Coast Monitor Farm

Westland has some unique challenges such as high rainfall and seasonal dry peroids which are variable across the region. Westland has now been collecting data for 10 years and continues to building on the information currently available.

This project funded by Westland Milk Products, DairyNZ, CRV Ambreed, ARL-Ravensdown and Rabobank aims to generate reliable pasture growth and quality, and soil temperature information, over the next 12 months, on two commercial dairy farms in Westland.

Farm walks schedule for this season are weekly from August to May, and monthly over the winter period.

Each week we will provide a Weekly Summary of information from the following regions:

Buller: Mawheraiti (Stu and Deb Bland), Westland: Kowhitirangi (Anna and Jeremy Hart).

Weekly Update - as at week ending Wednesday 24th October 2018

CO comment

There has been some welcome rain for many parts of the region this past week, although some are still falling somewhat short. It would be pertinent to use this time to think about potential summer dry strategies for your farm. Previous seasons have taught us that it is always good to have a plan and if it ends up it is not required, that is fine. You can find some tips on managing pasture through a dry period at https://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/seasonal-management/summer-management/summer-strategies/

Many farmers on the West Coast are mentioning pasture quality as a focus at present and understand its effects on milk production. Some are choosing to top paddocks which have not been grazed down to residual targets. Mowing resets the residual but should be the last resort option as mowing reduces pasture regrowth compared with grazing. Be cautious not to mow the farm into a feed deficit.

I am often asked about pre-graze mowing and whether it increases dry matter intake. A recent trial concluded that the dry matter present does not increase because of mowing and wilting. There is just less water present, not more dry matter. The rate of dry matter intake may increase after mowing but not the total intake. Cows will finish the feed offered quicker, but it’s not more feed. All trials found that eating pre-mown pasture compared with unmown did not increase MS production.

Farm Summary

 

Mawheraiti

Kowhitirangi

Average cover (kg   DM/ha)

2222

1999

APC   (17th October)

2133

2025

Rotation length   (days)

25

25

Stocking rate

 

 

Percentage in milk

 

 

Milksolids kg/cow

2.12

1.99

Milksolids kg/ha

5.9

4.0

MS/cow (season to   date)

 

 

MS/ha (season to   date)

231

192

 

 

 

N (kg/ha) year to   date

 

 

Current N application   rate kg N/ha

37

25

 

 

 

 

1st   October

2nd   October

DM%

13.5

15.1

Pasture ME

>12.5

>12.5

Pasture NDF

47.1

43.2

Pasture CP

27.7

22.4

 

 

 

Target Intake (kg   DM/cow/d)

20

18

Supplement   (kg/cow/day)

 

2.4

 

 

 

Soil temperature (°C)

13.8

 

Growth Rate (kg   DM/day)

59

37

Rainfall

2

 

 

Click here for the full weekly summary - 24 October 2018


Previous Weekly Summaries

2018

                        30 May       31 Jan
  26 Sep       

 23 May

 25 Apr

28 Mar 28 Feb 24 Jan
17 Oct 19 Sep        16 May  18 Apr 21 Mar 21 Feb 17 Jan
10 Oct 12 Sep      20 Jun 9 May 11 Apr 14 Mar  14 Feb 10 Jan
3 Oct 5 Sep 29 Aug 4 July 6 Jun 2 May 4 Apr 7 Mar 7 Feb  3 Jan

 

2017

                       
       29 Sept           30 Mar    
22 Dec 24 Nov  26 Oct 21 Sept 24 Aug   29 Jun 25 May 27 Apr 24 Mar 24 Feb 26 Jan
15 Dec 16 Nov  20 Oct 14 Sept 17 Aug 20 Jul   19 May  20 Apr 17 Mar 17 Feb 20 Jan
8 Dec 9 Nov  12 Oct 7 Sept 10 Aug   9 Jun 12 May 13 Apr 9 Mar 10 Feb 11 Jan
1 Dec 3 Nov 6 Oct 1 Sept 3 Aug    2 Jun 4 May 6 Apr 3 Mar 2 Feb 4 Jan


2016

       30 Sep                
23 Dec  25 Nov   22 Sep 26 Aug   30 June 26 May 28 Apr     28 Jan
16 Dec 17 Nov 27 Oct 15 Sep 19 Aug   23 June 19 May 21 Apr 18 Mar 25 Feb  
8 Dec 10 Nov 14 Oct 8 Sep 12 Aug 22 Jul 9 June 12 May 14 Apr 11 Mar 18 Feb  
1 Dec 3 Nov 7 Oct 1 Sep 5 Aug   3 June 5 May 8 Apr 4 Mar 11 Feb