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 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

 

Week ending - 26th April 2017 

Backtrack Dairies

Two farming systems. One Kinsey-Albrecht (Whakapono) and one conventional (Waiora). Both farms have a stocking rate of 3.1 cows/ha at peak.

 

Week Ending

19/4/17

26/4/17

Backtrack Dairies

Whakapono

Waiora

Whakapono

Waiora

Farm grazing ha

155

210

155

210

Peak Cows

483

639

483

639

Stocking Rate (cows in milk/ha)

2.9

3.0

2.9

3.0

Cows in Milk

457

626

457

626

% of cows in Sick Herd

0.7

1.0

1.2

1.3

Cows in Vat

454

619

452

618

Ave. Pasture Cover

2168

2246

2057

2247

Ave. Pasture Growth

43

46

26

45

Area Grazed

6.88

9.93

4.44

5.27

Grazing Interval

28

28

35

40

Pasture Intake (est kgDM/cow)

18

21

15

14

Grass Silage Fed (kgDM/cow)

0.9

0.8

6.3

4.7

Grain/PKE Fed (kgDM/cow)

1.5

1.3

1.5

1.3

Total Fed KgDM/cow

20.4

23

23

20

Milk Solids (Kg/cow/day)(inclu calf milk)

1.46

1.40

1.37

1.35

MS/ha/day

4.31

4.19

4.04

4.04

Nitrogen applied (kg N/ha)

0

0

0

0

Rainfall (mm for week)

46

46

7

7

Irrigation applied (mm for week)

0

0

0

0

Soil Temperature at 9am

12

12

11

12

Soil Moisture (between 65-76%)

114

 

107

83

Cell count (000’s)

164

161

151

174

Mastitis Cases (%)

0.0

0.2

0.0

0.0

Lameness Cases (%)

0.4

1.1

1.2

0.5

Body Condition Score

4.5

4.4

4.5

4.4

Totals To Date

 

 

 

 

Milk Solids to factory

213181

269444

217562

275376

Milk Solids inclu calf milk

219648

278943

224029

284875

MS/ha

1374

1281

1402

1309

MS/cow (peak cows)(inclu calf milk)

455

437

464

446

Nitrogen applied (kg N/ha)

84

124

84

124

Supplements Fed (kg/cow)

418

381

468

421

Deaths %

1.4

3.0

1.4

3.0

Culls %

8.1

3.1

8.1

3.1

 
Summary

  • Average pasture cover on Whakapono on the 19th April was 2168 kgDM/ha, which has dropped 100 to 2057 KgDM/ha for this week but questioning low growth rates as weather has been great this week drying the farm out.
  • Waiora had a cover of 2246KgDM/ha and has held at 2247 KgDM/ha.
  • Growth rates on Whakapono are well below demand (60) at 26 which is questionable although fits with further drop in cover, while Waiora at 45 seems accurate in maintaining cover.
  • 7mm rainfall at start of weekand then fine warm weather has meant all irrigation is off this week and probably finished for the year.
  • Milk production has dropped slightly again to 1.37 kgMS/cow on Whakapono and slightly lower on Waiora at 1.35 kgMS/cow probably due to reducing pasture area and feeding more pasture silage trying to get back days lost due to wet.
  •  Pasture samples taken each week on the next two paddocks are about to graze a weighed and dried for DM% similar at 15 -17% (see table below).
  • Clover was typically 30% on Whakapono and 20% on Waiora has fallen markedly in recent samples to only 6% and 4% as ryegrass kicks in again with cooler soil temps.
  • Per cow production has really taken a hit since the bad weather and not being able to push feed in front could seriously hamper our chance of a good finish.
  • Grain/PKE back up to 2.0 kg/cow as growth rates below demand at 17 KgDM/cow.
  • NDF closer to 40% on Waiora restricting intake, 35% on Whakapono.
  • Round length similar on Whakapono at 28 days with Waiora 28 days moving to moving to 36 now but nullified by moving cows on during wet weather and stopping silage feeding during those wet periods.
  • 25 Jersey bull calves still on farm.
  • 100 R2 year heifer grazing one day in front of cows so will be picking the best out of paddocks. Split 55/45 to each farm.
  • Culls 40 per week to start leaving next week as booked.
  • Whakapono total N to date 84 kg/ha to date with total spend on fertiliser $602/ha including lime and dolomite and extra fert put on silage paddocks.
  • Waiora has received 50 kg/ha of Sustain N giving 23kg N/ha on the paddocks that missed out in February.
  • Waiora total N will be 123 kg/ha and total spend on fertiliser $408/ha with no lime and no extra fert to silage paddocks.
  •  Whakapono had 62% in calf early (August calving) compared to Waiora’s 58%.
  • Final MT rate 13% on Whakapono and 14% on Waiora so 1% better on both farms than last season but still disappointing. Heifer results good at 4% out of 420 total.
  • Lameness eased off on Whakapono, but starting to appear on Waiora which is normal after a big rain and tracks in need of some maintenance.
  • Whakapono at distinct disadvantage with one bigger herd, longer walks over tracks which get wet from pivots so any extra wet weather quickly accentuates any lameness problems.

Click here for a full version of the weekly summary -  26th April 2017

Previous Weeks Summaries

 

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



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