Week ending 31-8-20 farm notes:
PASTURES AND FEED
Grass has leapt out of the ground this week with an average PGR of 65kgDM/ha/day. This has lifted our cover to 2242kgDM.
Cows grazed 5.2 ha which was below our target of 6ha/day. Pasture allocation is guided by residuals. We are targeting 1500-1600kgDM/ha in dry grazing conditions and 1700kgDM/ha in wet weather.
We are now focused on getting crops paddocks sprayed and grazed off in the next few weeks along with our first cut of silage. Planning to have Kale in the ground by the 1st October and turnips 10th October. Our target pre-graze this coming week is 2600-2700kgDM/ha over 6.5 ha. We are due to finish our first round of N and are targeting 15ha of silage made on farm to receive N as well.
Interestingly we have feed a similar amount of PKE (12t DM) and grass silage/hay (13 tDM) as the same time last season with the addition this year of 6t wet weight of Calcimol Molasses. We started N applications later this year with none in July, and have applied 28kgN/ha which is 10kgN/ha less season to date than last year.
The molasses feed in lick troughs in the races has been a change this season. At $490/t + cartage 67%DM and 11 ME it is an expensive feed at 73c/kgDM. It has reduced the need to feed bulk PK in the paddocks during wet periods (which creates pasture damage). It also supports the transition from colostrum mob (where they get 100g Limeflour/cow on PK) to milker mob with an extra 55g Ca/kg molasses.
We are over 93% calved with the last cow due 18th September. They have been doing over 2.2kgMS/cow/day for the last 2 weeks helped by the good body condition at calving and quality feed they are on at the moment.
We are taking out of the vat between 150 and 300L milk/day for calves to mix with our stored milk due to the low number of colostrum cows. There are another 47 Wagyu due to leave this week which will help reduce the milk demand. We are drafting out of the colostrum mob every 3rd day this year to provide enough colostrum and this has help with metabolic transition and also mastitis (with only 16 cows treated with antibiotics to date vs 23 last year).
After talking to a few farmers recently about weaner grazing it seems that there are a few out there that have withdrawn replacement grazing from blocks in the Hawkes Bay. We are also affected by this and have been looking at our options.
We had budgeted this year 90 calves at $11/hd/wk total cost of $25k for grazing. Each calf will consume approximately 1tDM from weaning to 31st May (DairyNZ Facts and Figures). Feed costs work out around 27c/kgDM. In an average year we grow 6.8tDM/ha so the calves would require 13ha of land during this time if feed on pasture alone. That 90tDM is worth around 7,500kgMS or $48k of income. Being a summer dry farm the protein in pasture is precious to our system. We do not want to reduce cow numbers or shorten the lactation to feed calves at home. We are currently looking to secure alternative grazing just for this year for all or some of the calves. If we can’t find any within the next 2 weeks we will use Farmax modelling to explore the options of growing a specialist weaner crop like Chicory or Raffno.
Follow the link to see the pros and cons of our decision-making process on the website https://www.owlfarm.nz/news/details/82
Prompted by Year 9 Ag students studying animal health and welfare on dairy farms we found out that our bloat treatment cost approximately $7.80/cow/year. This is for in-line treatment at 10ml/cow/day for 3 months. This is helpful when building our animal health spend which is budgeted this year at $122/cow (which includes $26/cow in zinc boluses if needed). Last year we spent $114/cow on animal health.
This week we cut up flax bushes to plant along side some water ways and full gaps. We have a dozen ducklings on the pond and are just trying to work out how they will get out as we empty the pond over the coming weeks. Might have to create a temporary ladder of sorts for them to get out?
Gear maintenance is high on our list of priorities this time of the year. Time is saved and the team is kept safe by having machinery in good working order. We clean bikes once a week (usually on a Friday) with a high pressure hose, check oil levels, tighten chains, grease the tractor, check PK trailer tyres and couplings.
PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY
Thanks to Fonterra for the calving tin and the team at Farmsource for all their hard work over the last few months. It’s so great to pop down quickly to the store and have everything ready with a smile. Saves us time and brightens our day.
Hours worked season to date is 50hr/wk for our FM and 2IC with another 19hr/wk for relief milkers and part-time staff. This compares with around 49hr/wk this time last season when we had 3 FTE and achieved an average of 45 hours/wk. Average hours normally peak at the end of December and then start reducing through the remainder of the season. It will be interesting when we analyse the extra hours required with the different mating program we used.
PLANNING FOR THE MONTH AHEAD:
Cheers Jo + Tom
|Milk Production - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|Cow's in milk||263||291||312||335||361||382||-13|
|Springer herd/dry cows||153||124||98||75||46||28||+28|
|Number of cows in big herd||225||265||158||177||197||220||-20|
|Number of cows in small herd||0||0||131||143||139||140||-10|
|Number of cows in colostrum herd||42||16||18||15||24||14||+14|
|Number of Cows in the Treatment/Sick herd||4||2||4||4||1||4||-3|
|KgMS/cow/day (cows in the vat only)||1.67||1.85||2.02||2.10||2.19||2.22||+.55|
|Milk production for week ending (kgMS)||2390.00||3305.00||3402.00||4525.00||5095.00||5343.00||+737|
|Total milk production - YTD (kgMS)||3302.00||6607.00||10009.00||15157.00||20582.00||25594.00||-102178|
|Milk production per ha (kgMS/ha/day)||2.10||3.20||3.80||4.40||4.90||5.20||+.6|
|Total milk production per ha - YTD (kgMS/ha/YTD)||23.00||46.00||70.00||105.00||143.00||178.00||-709|
|Bulk Milk SCC (SCC x 1000)||158||132||113||131||134||126||-1|
|Animal Health - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|BCS (average whole herd)||5.70||5.70||5.50||5.40||5.40||5.30||+.8|
|BCS (average heifers)||5.60||5.60||5.25||5.50||5.50||5.40||+.7|
|Lame cows - new cases||1||1||2||0||0||5||+5|
|Lame cows - YTD||1||2||4||4||4||9||-28|
|Mastitis - new cases||2||3||1||5||1||4||+2|
|Mastitis - YTD||2||5||6||11||12||16||-33|
|Number of cows on penicillin||5||3||4||6||1||4||+2|
|Number of cows on penicillin YTD||6||9||13||19||20||24||-41|
|Culls - new cases||0||0||4||0||0||0||-|
|Culls - YTD||0||0||4||4||4||4||-12|
|Deaths - new cases||0||1||1||0||0||0||-|
|Deaths - YTD||0||1||2||2||2||2||-2|
|Pasture Production - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|Average pasture cover (kgDM/ha)||2500||2405||2249||2190||2161||2242||+59|
|Average pasture growth rates (kgDM/day)||22||25||23||38||43||65||+24|
|Lowest post graze residual (kgDM/ha)||1300||1300||1400||1450||1500||1500||-|
|Highest pre graze cover (kgDM/ha)||4200||4000||3800||3100||3000||2800||-400|
|Average area grazed/day for milkers (ha)||2.16||2.72||3.00||3.80||4.60||5.20||+2.5|
|Total Biomass Measured (kgDM) )|
|Supplementary Use - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|Average PKE (kg/cow/day)||0.30||0.10||0.10||0.80||0.50||1.50||-.5|
|Average maize (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Average silage (kg/cow/day)||0.70||0.50||0.30||0.30||0.30||0.30||-2.2|
|Silage usage YTD||10.80||12.20||13.20||11.80||12.30||13.20||-16|
|Silage Harvested Tonnes (DM)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Total Supplement Feed (per cow kgDM)||34.50||38.80||42.00||43.80||48.60||63.10||+10.6|
|Total Supplement YTD (Tonnes)||14.00||15.70||17.00||17.80||19.70||25.60||-115|
|Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|kgN applied per ha/% of farm||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||29.00 KgN/ 41.70 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||32.70 KgN/ 34.70 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 %|
|kgN applied YTD (average kgN/ha)||4.80||4.80||16.90||16.90||28.20||28.20||-48.4|
|GA applied (20gm/ha)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Effluent Applied y/n||N||N||Y||N||N||N||-|
|Paddocks effluent applied||0||0||3||0||0||0||-|
|Application Depth (mm)||0.00||0.00||18.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Climate - Week ending||27/07/2020||3/08/2020||10/08/2020||17/08/2020||24/08/2020||31/08/2020||Variance|
|Temperature (ave. °C)||9.50||11.04||9.92||10.00||13.00||11.30||-10.2|
|Soil temperature (ave. °C at 10cm depth)||11.50||12.50||12.50||11.60||13.00||13.00||-9|
|Soil Moisture(% at 10cm depth)||34.00||33.50||33.90||33.70||34.10||34.10||+7.1|