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. 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 - 14 September 2017

 

CO comment 

Making the time to continue the farm walks and monitoring average pasture covers will help keep control pasture quality.  Sometimes, to cut down the need for additional supplementary feed, the response is to move on to a quicker rotation length too early. The Spring Rotation Planner identifies that the typical time to have completed the first round of the farm is during the first week of October – many have already grazed that area already. Pasture growth rates are not yet at a level where this rotation length can be supported and the result is that average pasture covers drop rather than increase. Keep to the required area to be grazed each day and use the supplement that is available to hold the longer rotation length – it will pay dividends with a more suitable average pasture cover at balance date.

Using the Spring Rotation Planner to monitor your position and ensure good decisions are made is a good way to manage the pasture and supplement resource that’s on hand. With the financial situation still tight through the spring, having your grazing management well planned will ensure that supplements are fed only when required and not wasted.

Remember to offer freshly calved cows at least 12-14 kgDM/day for Friesian and 10-12 kgDM/cow for Jersey – this certainly a lesser amount than what they will be consuming at peak, but physiologically, that’s about all they can consume at this stage of their lactation.  Monitor your grazing residuals to ensure your targets are achieved as they will impact on both pasture regrowth rate and subsequent pasture quality. 

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)

1820

1979

 

1736

APC (7 September)

1871

1997

 

1831

Rotation length (days)

22

35

 

28

Stocking rate

 

 

 

 

Percentage in milk

92

87

 

81

Milksolids kg/cow

1.76

2.01

 

1.64

Milksolids kg/ha

4.2

3.9

 

2.6

MS/cow (season to date)

25.7

33.0

 

14.0

MS/ha (season to date)

75.4

88.0

 

33.5

 

 

 

 

 

N (kg/ha) year to date

20

24

 

93.4

Current N application rate kg N/ha

20

30

 

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 July

1 Aug

 

2 Aug

DM%

20.0

16.7

 

17.6

Pasture ME

12.4

12.2

 

11.8

Pasture NDF

46.4

38.6

 

44.8

Pasture CP

27.3

24.6

 

21.0

 

 

 

 

 

Target Intake (kg DM/cow/d)

17

20

 

17

Supplement (kg/cow/day)

2.6

5.0

 

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

Soil temperature (°C)

9.0

8.1

 

9.9

Growth Rate (kg DM/day)

15

20

 

6

Rainfall

-

114

 

135

Conditions for farmwalk

Been lots of rain but nice fine very cold day

Fine just cold rain very close

 

Fine just…a week very cold weather for everyone this week

Comments

 

 

 

 

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

 

Click here for the full weekly summary - 14th September 2017

 

Previous Weekly Summaries

2017

            30 Mar    
  24 Aug   29 Jun 25 May 27 Apr 24 Mar 24 Feb 26 Jan
14 Sept 17 Aug 20 Jul   19 May  20 Apr 17 Mar 17 Feb 20 Jan
7 Sept 10 Aug   9 Jun 12 May 13 Apr 9 Mar 10 Feb 11 Jan
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  

 

Combined Monthly Summaries

2014 - 2015

December 2015
November 2015

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014