Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

Soil Nutrient Management Project

The project is focussed on the monitoring and scientific measurement of the changes which are occurring on the properties.  

It is driven by farmers, rural professionals and scientists who want to understand the implications of adopting the new fertiliser management strategies being actively promoted by agribusiness organisations and known as Biological Farming.   Many of these approaches are promoted on the basis of research which is not supported by traditional scientists, and there is interest from all parties in collecting information that can be more readily understood. 

The information over the three year provided will include:

• Environmental indicators (water use, soil condition, measures of available N, n leaching, pasture composition and soil biology, etc.)

• Production indicators presented in a form that allows direct comparison with benchmarking data from the Lincoln University dairy farm (LUDF) and SIDDC monitor farms;

• Economic indicators based on the Dairybase financial reporting.

The three year project life will allow the mapping of changes over time, and provide an independent evaluation of the differences and impacts of the two strategies.

Click here to view the end of season report to stakeholders for 2016/17 season
Click here to view the end of season field day presenation 2016/17 season
Click here to view Richard Gillespies 2017 - Soil nutrient management in dairy farming: a systems comparison - year 4 report

Click here to view the season to date field day presentation for December 2016
Click here
to view the end of season field day presentation for 2014/15 season
Click here to view the December 2015 Soil nutrient management in dairy farming systems presentation - From the ground up.

For further Information about the project please contact: Glen Greer.  AERU, Lincoln University


Backtrack Dairies
 Weekly Summaries

 

End of season 2016/17 Summary

Backtrack Dairies

Two farming systems. One biological (Whakapono) and one conventional (Waiora). Both farms have a stocking rate of 3.3 cows/ha at peak.

 

 

Whakapono 15/16

Waiora 15/16

Whakapono 16/17

Waiora 16/17

Effective Area

155

210

155

210

Stocking Rate

3.3

3.3

3.1

3.0

Peak Cows

506

690

483

636

Treatment

Kinsey-Albrecht

Conventional

Kinsey-Albrecht

Conventional

Total MS/ha

1670

1662

1514

1421

Total MS/cow

511

506

499

484

Somatic Cell Count

120,000

150,000

166,000

169,000

Total N Applied

117

160

84

124

N Leaching

35

40

25

25

Total Pasture Grown (T DM)

15

15.3

13.8

14.0

Supplements Offered (kgDM/cow)

737

669

681

609

Supplements made on farm (kgDM/cow)

44

0

101

153

Irrigation applied

537

573

262

275

Total Rainfall

625

625

929

929

Deaths %

2.6

2.2

1.7

3.5

Culls %

24

24

13.9

15.7

Mastitis %

11

12

10

12

Lameness %

28.5

17.2

15

16

Submission Rate %

84

82

91

87

Non cyclers %

9

12

9

12

AI length

8 weeks

8 weeks

 6.5 weeks

6.5 weeks

Mating length

11 weeks

11 weeks

10  weeks

10  weeks

6 week in-calf rate %

83 (8 weeks)

83 (8 weeks)

 

 

Empty Rate %

14

15

14

15

 
Summary

  • Finished the official season with an average pasture cover of 1817 KgDM/ha on Whakapono and 1901 KgDM/ha on Waiora at May 31st.
  • Milk production ended up at 499 MS/cow for Whakapono and 484 KgMS/cow for Waiora to May 31st.
  • Somatic cell count average for the season was 166,000 on Whakapono and slightly higher on Waiora at 169,000.
  • Supplements offered per cow for Whakapono was 681 KgDM/cow and slightly lower on Waiora at 609 KgDM/cow.
  • Whakapono also used 40 kg less N/ha to produce a very similar amount of feed in the season (13.8 vs 14.0 t/ha).
  • Use of Nitrogen actually appears marginal this autumn also with response of only 200 kgDM/ha over Whakapono with cost of N applied $1.20/kgN including spread x 40kg/ha extra N spread compared to Whakapono equals $48/ha divided by 200 kgDM/ha equals 0.24 c/kgDM not much different from cost of PKE fed in shed. Also, utilisation of this feed was compromised by the heavy base it created forcing cows to work harder to clean it up meaning a loss in production.
  • Mastitis was similar on both farms at 10-12%.
  • Lameness is lower this season on Whakapono which has not been seen in previous seasons.
  • Cows were dried off late May with covers ending around 1800KgDM/ha on Whakapono and 1900KgDM/ha on Waiora.
  • Light cows (CS 4.0-4.5) and younger cows 400 from both farms dried off on May 25th with the aim to put on 1.0 CS.
  • Fat cows (CS 4.5-5.0) and late calvers (560 cows) were dried off on May 30th.
  • Wintering relatively easy with only straw or baleage to feed before winding up fence on kale and only four mobs.
  • Overseer nutrient budget shows N loss to water is 25 for both farms 

Fertiliser 

Waiora – Ballance

Month

N

P

K

S

Mg

Ca

August

12

0

0

5

 

0

0

September

17

0

0

5

0

0

October

24

0

0

2

0

0

November

25

36

25

30

0

17

December

23

0

25

0

0

0

January

0

12

0

14

0

29

February

16

2

0

2

0

4

March

7

0

0

0

0

0

Total to Date Applied

124

51

50

59

0

50

 

Whakapono – Top Soil

Month

N

P

K

S

Mg

Ca

August

6

1

0

6

0

0

September

18

15

24

47

44

227

October

3

2

5

5

7

32

November

19

2

16

15

0

1

December

18

2

15

14

0

2

January

12

8

17

17

0

21

February

8

5

12

12

14

239

Total to Date Applied

84

35

90

116

64

522

 

Previous Weeks Summaries
 

2016/17 Season
    29 Mar              
24 May 26 Apr 22 Mar   25 Jan     26 Oct    
17 May 19 Apr 15 Mar 22 Feb 18 Jan 21 Dec 30 Nov 19 Oct    
10 May 12 Apr 8 Mar 15 Feb 11 Jan 14 Dec 16 Nov 12 Oct    
3 May   1 Mar 7 Feb 4 Jan 7 Dec 9 Nov 5 Oct Sept 16 Aug 16

End of season summary 2016/17


2015/16 Season

    30 Apr 16          
    23 Apr 16 26 Mar 16 27 Feb 16 30 Jan 16 27 Dec 15  
  21 May 16 16 Apr 16 19 Mar 16 20 Feb 16  17 Jan 16 20 Dec 15 29 Nov 15
  14 May 16 9 Apr 16 12 Mar 16 13 Feb 16 10 Jan 16 13 Dec 15 23 Nov 15
Jun/Jul 16 7 May 16 2 Apr 16 5 Mar 16 6 Feb 16 3 Jan 16 6 Dec 15 17 Nov 15

End of season summary 2015/16

Pasture Analysis Report - March 2016
Pasture Analysis Report - February 2016