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West Coast Monitor Farm

Westland has some unique challenges such as high rainfall and seasonal dry peroids which are variable across the region. There is debate on how pasture growth rates and annual production on dairy farms throughout Westland compares to that collected from three years of monitoring on the Landcorp Kotuku Focus Farm. Westland has now been collecting data for 6 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 four 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: Westport (C Gallagher, Victoria Rd) Upper Grey Valley: Ikamatua (A Mirfin, Mirfins Rd) Greymouth: (A Robb Coal Creek, Taylorville Rd) Hokitika: Kowhitirangi (T&R Little, Whitcombe Valley Rd)

 
Weekly Update -  4th May 2017 


CO comment

On the whole, pasture growth rates have been very good since the long, wet period ended, but be careful not to take the continued growth for granted.  With some areas having already experiencing frosts, soil temperatures will be declining.  Continue to revise and update your autumn feed budget to reflect the situation on your farm and ensure you have sufficient feed to continue milking if that is what you choose to do. Revisit your winter feed budget to confirm feed availability.  If winter feed levels are going to be tight, consider setting your wintering mobs up based on BCS and feed individual groups according to the BCS gain that is required.  Your focus now should be on setting up the farm for next season and achieving target pasture covers and body condition score at dry off and calving.  If drying cows off in smaller groups make sure they are adequately marked and there is no opportunity for them to re-enter the milking herd, especially if dry cow therapy is being used.  If you are interested in viewing the Expanded Weekly Summary of the monitoring results, follow this link West Coast Monitor Farm Full Summary

Farm Summary

 

Westport

Ikamatua

Greymouth

Kowhitirangi

Average cover (kg DM/ha)

1989

2124

2227

1860

APC (27 April)

2036

2133

2236

1912

Rotation length (days)

23

28

30

43

Stocking rate

2.4

2.5

2.3

2.0

Percentage in milk

81

95

91

85

Milksolids kg/cow

1.40

1.46

1.09

1.00

Milksolids kg/ha

3.3

3.6

2.5

2.0

MS/cow (season to date)

371

 

285

312

MS/ha (season to date)

1085

 

718

744

 

 

 

 

 

N  (kg/ha) year to date

170

222

209

50

Current N application rate kg N/ha

20

25

30

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 April

4 April

 

5 April

DM%

15.1

11.7

 

15.1

Pasture ME

12.1

>12.7

 

12.1

Pasture NDF

52.2

48.1

 

52.2

Pasture CP

27.6

33.9

 

27.6

 

 

 

 

 

Target Intake (kg DM/cow/d)

18

18

18

16

Supplement (kg/cow/day)

1.5

1.5

6.0

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

Soil temperature (°C)

12.0

13.0

12.4

13.6

Growth Rate (kg DM/day)

42

48

44

8

Rainfall

34

 

31

100

Conditions for farmwalk

Fine. Cold start, close to frost

Fine, cold

 

Heavy rain

Comments

 

 

 

 

NB: pasture quality data are for 1 sample collected from each farm

Click here for the full weekly summary - 4th May 2017

Previous Weekly Summaries

2017

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