Week ending 17-2-20 farm notes:
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|
|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|
|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||-|
|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|
|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|
|Average maize (kg/cow/day)||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 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|
|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|