17/02/2020


Week ending 17-2-20 farm notes:

17-2-20 data table

18-2-20 wedge

Pasture cover has dropped again this week to 1658 kg DM/ha with a growth rate of 7 kg DM/day.  What is noticeable during the farm walk is that some paddocks are actively growing, albeit at a low rate, and a number of paddocks have stopped accumulating cover.  38% of the farm did not record a visible increase in cover this week.  For the paddocks that are still recording growth rates over 10 kg DM/ha/day we are being very careful not to over-graze.  The cows are currently grazing 3 ha/day or 1/45th of the farm.  We are returning cows  back to paddocks for supplement feeding for 3-4 nights post their grazing to provide, shade and minimise walking to the shed or crops.

The cows have now had almost a week on OAD and have settled into approx. 1.2 kg MS/cow on average, down from 1.35 kg MS (an 11% drop).  SCC has moved between 160-200 during this time.  One cow has been pulled out with mastitis since going on OAD.

We finished the turnips on Sunday and started the kale crops on Monday.  The cows have handled this transition well. We have approximately 3 weeks of kale feeding for the 383 remaining milking cows.

We have started feeding a PKE/tapioca (20%) blend.  This has lowered the FEI result giving us the opportunity to feed more and remain at a B grade or less.  This has worked well as we are now comfortably feeding approximately 3.2 kg DM/cow and hope to increase it further now that the cows are on kale. We are still using PKE that we had on contract at the beginning of the season, so by adding tapioca it is still the cheapest form of extra feed we can access at the moment. Some silage we could source is between 35-40c/kg DM landed on farm.

We have approximately 123 t DM silage left, with 50-80 t DM required for June-August.  We have dropped the feeding down to 6 kg DM/cow/day and this (43 t DM) should last as long as the crops do on the current diet.

We are aiming to feed as much PKE/blend as we can to make the grass silage to remain in the diet as long as possible (at 17-20% protein it is a valuable source of protein to keep cows milking). The current diet still provides 15% protein which is enough for cows producing 1.2 kg MS/day in mid/late lactation. DairyNZ recommends protein between 14-16% DM.

We are feeding the cows approximately 15.7 kg DM/day.  This is made up of 3.5 kg DM pasture, 3 kg DM crop, 3.2 kg PKE/tapioca blend, and 6 kg DM silage.

On this diet we are hoping to stop further weight loss and hold BCS at 4.2. We want to have as many cows in good enough condition to continue milking when the rain comes.

Tom and Kyle made a start planning the re-grassing programme for the coming autumn: a mixture of new grass out of crop, annuals pre the 2021 crop, permanent and Italian undersowing. At this stage we will likely drill 25% of the farm this autumn (17% of which is part of the cropping plan). Before we make a final decision in early March on undersowing paddocks, we will assess how pastures are looking. Fingers crossed we have received some rain before then. As usual we use the Italian ryegrass to buy us some time within a long-term cropping plan; the perennial plan is just filling any gaps in otherwise healthy paddocks to offer a new/longer lease of life.

On the dry block (average 9 t DM/ha grown to date) at the Cambridge town end of the farm, we are still undecided what to put in there - maybe an annual to get plenty of DM growth pre-Christmas, followed by either chicory or sorghum as something is better than nothing once it turns dry! These paddocks (7ha) will not be grazed for at least three months of the year so if we can offer something to be fed we are winning!











Milk Production - Week ending 13/01/2020 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
Cow's in milk 401 398 398 398 383 383 -
Springer herd/dry cows 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Number of cows in big herd 232 240 238 230 220 216 -4
Number of cows in small herd 158 153 153 163 160 160 -
Number of cows in colostrum herd 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Number of Cows in the Treatment/Sick herd 11 5 7 5 3 7 +4
KgMS/cow/day (cows in the vat only) 1.39 1.44 1.28 1.47 1.25 1.36 +.11
KgMS/cow YTD 315.00 325.00 333.00 343.00 352.00 361.00 +9
Milk production for week ending (kgMS) 3914.80 4045.00 3574.20 4082.00 3433.10 3643.00 +209.9
Total milk production - YTD (kgMS) 127406.10 131451.10 135025.30 139107.00 142540.40 146183.40 +3643
Milk production per ha (kgMS/ha/day) 3.80 3.90 3.50 4.00 3.30 3.50 +.2
Total milk production per ha - YTD (kgMS/ha/YTD) 864.00 891.00 915.00 943.00 966.00 991.00 +25
Protein/Fat ratio 0.70 0.72 0.69 0.68 0.71 0.69 -.02
Bulk Milk SCC (SCC x 1000) 134 140 159 165 155 179 +24




Animal Health - Week ending 13/01/2020 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
BCS (average whole herd) 4.30 4.30 4.30 4.20 4.20 4.20 -
BCS (average heifers) 4.40 4.40 4.40 4.20 4.30 4.30 -
Treatment/sick herd 11 5 7 5 3 7 4
Lame cows - new cases 3 1 1 2 0 1 +1
Lame cows - YTD 127 128 129 131 131 132 +1
Mastitis - new cases 0 1 2 0 0 4 +4
Mastitis - YTD 37 38 40 40 40 44 +4
Number of cows on penicillin 2 2 2 0 0 4 +4
Number of cows on penicillin YTD 68 70 72 72 72 76 +4
Culls - new cases 0 6 0 0 15 0 -15
Culls - YTD 14 20 20 20 35 35 -
Deaths - new cases 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Deaths - YTD 6 6 6 6 6 6 -




Pasture Production - Week ending 13/01/2020 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
Average pasture cover (kgDM/ha) 2034 1897 1837 1811 1709 1658 -51
Average pasture growth rates (kgDM/day) 41 15 14 13 7 7 -
Lowest post graze residual (kgDM/ha) 1400 1400 1450 1450 1450 1400 -50
Highest pre graze cover (kgDM/ha) 2700 2550 2450 2350 2400 2250 -150
Average area grazed/day for milkers (ha) 3.77 3.70 3.00 2.70 3.18 3.00 -.18
Round length 36 37 45 50 43 45 +2
Total Biomass Measured (kgDM) )




Supplementary Use - Week ending 13/01/2020 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
Average PKE (kg/cow/day) 0.20 2.00 2.00 2.50 2.50 3.00 +.5
PKE YTD 57.80 63.30 68.90 75.90 82.90 91.00 +8.1
Average maize (kg/cow/day) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -
Maize YTD 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -
Average silage (kg/cow/day) 4.00 6.00 7.50 7.00 7.00 6.00 -1
Silage usage YTD 29.30 45.90 66.70 86.40 105.20 121.30 +16.1
Silage Harvested Tonnes (DM) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -
Total Supplement Feed (per cow kgDM) 290.90 372.90 458.20 545.40 628.90 708.40 +79.5
Total Supplement YTD (Tonnes) 117.80 151.00 185.60 221.00 254.70 708.40 +453.7


Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid - Week ending 13/01/2020 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
kgN applied per ha/% of farm 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 KgN/ 0.00 % 0.00 %
kgN applied YTD (average kgN/ha) 102.00 102.00 102.00 102.00 102.00 102.00 -
GA applied (20gm/ha) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -
Effluent applied            
Effluent Applied y/n Y Y Y Y N N -
Paddocks effluent applied 2 3 1 2
Application Depth (mm) 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00 -




Climate - Week ending 20/01/2020 27/01/2020 28/01/2020 3/02/2020 10/02/2020 17/02/2020 Variance
Temperature (ave. °C) 19.58 18.86 18.86 20.10 20.10 24.40 +4.3
Rainfall 5.20 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -
Rainfall Season-to-Date 562.40 562.40 562.40 562.40 562.40 562.40 -
Soil temperature (ave. °C at 10cm depth) 22.40 21.73 21.73 23.50 23.20 24.40 +1.2
Soil Moisture(% at 10cm depth) 24.96 27.30 27.30 25.00 23.90 21.40 -2.5


















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