Week ending 12-10-20 farm notes:
With a pasture growth rate of 51 kg DM/ha/day and a drop in cover to 2031 kg DM/ha the cows have been eating more than we grew last week. Fingers crossed this 18mm of rain will result in catch-up growth over the next week. On Wednesday we cut 17ha of silage and will get the remaining 6.6ha of Clean Crop turnips planted before the weekend.
With 8% of the farm now out of rotation for summer cropping, despite receiving rain we are nervous about the lack of significant rainfall and volatility in growth rates. The farm has received only 574mm of rain for the 2020 year to date. We will hold the round at 24 days on the remaining grazing platform to give pastures time to recover and maximise growth rates. The grazing area reduces from 6ha to 5.5ha/day. We will be using some PK to assist in holding this round as pre-graze covers are a little shorter than required on the reduced area. We require 2950 kg DM/ha and our top paddocks are currently sitting around 2700 kg DM/ha. We will endeavour to maintain post-graze residuals and remove PK if they start to rise above 1600.
The cows are milking well and are on their 9th week averaging over 2.1 kg MS. They are just starting to drop milk production from their 3-week peak of 2.2 kg MS/cow/day. We are aiming to continue to offer 19 kg DM/cow/day of high quality pasture plus PK if needed.
The chicory enjoyed the rain with some good growth expected this week. There still isn’t a lot of weed pressure so we will hold off on any spray yet.
We will make a start on spreading our spring fertiliser SurePhos MOP. SustaiN will also be applied at the end of this week. We have pulled our November nitrogen application forward to gain the greatest response possible and push growth into what has been predicted to be a long dry spell into December. One benefit of SurePhos is the ability to mix other products with it safely. We have also applied Smart Fert to our summer crops; this will offer a slow release of nitrogen during the growing period of the crops each time it rains. We will apply onto the chicory pre-Christmas if we see a chance after its first grazing.
ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE
Mating is going well with 89% submitted for an insemination after 18 days. Twelve more CIDRs have been used, which gets us up to 9% of cows this season compared with 15% last season; these will be inseminated on day 20 of mating. We will be switching to all Wagyu/Angus mating on day 24.
Two culls left the farm this week.
Calves are due to be weighed again the end of this week with the hope the big mob will be ready to wean. They are still two days per paddock around the farm.
We are very pleased with the latest weight results from our R2 heifers at the grazier. They weighed an average of 321 kg/head on the 10th October, with 96% at or above ideal liveweight. You’ll remember our grazier approached us at the end of August and we agreed to go 50/50 on some bought-in feed to get the girls up to liveweight for mating. We invested $2000 in giving these young girls the best possible chance to get in calf. Can’t wait to find out the results of the synchrony programme.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
This week is Ag Mental Health Week so I asked Tom what he does when he has a downer day – he says that he likes to build things. So there is always space in the shed (and time in some days) for Tom to build. And there is always something that is needing to be built on the farm. This time he is making some portable troughs for the calves to eat PK while they’re on the chicory. If tinkering is not your thing, try some of these tips from Farm Strong:
Our seedlings from Trees for Survival arrived in the holidays. The students at St Peter’s are involved in this education programme which involves young people growing and planting native trees to restore natural habitats. The students pot up the seedlings (flax, cabbage tree, carex and karamu), grow them on and work with us to find a suitable habitat for them to plant at Owl Farm. The programme works best when the students are sponsored to cover the cost of the seedlings and potting mix. It’s around $800 and you can find out if a local school near you is looking for planting projects, on the Trees for Survival website.
PLANNING FOR THE MONTH AHEAD:
|Milk Production - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|Cow's in milk||396||405||407||407||407||405||+10|
|Springer herd/dry cows||14||4||2||0||0||0||-|
|Number of cows in big herd||232||240||245||240||240||240||-|
|Number of cows in small herd||145||150||150||160||160||160||+10|
|Number of cows in colostrum herd||14||11||1||1||0||0||-|
|Number of Cows in the Treatment/Sick herd||4||4||5||6||7||20||+13|
|KgMS/cow/day (cows in the vat only)||2.22||2.22||2.23||2.25||2.18||2.14||+.47|
|Milk production for week ending (kgMS)||5704.00||5849.00||5883.00||6071.00||5869.00||5805.00||+1199|
|Total milk production - YTD (kgMS)||31298.00||37147.00||43030.00||49101.00||54970.00||60778.00||-66994|
|Milk production per ha (kgMS/ha/day)||5.50||5.70||5.70||6.10||5.90||5.90||+1.3|
|Total milk production per ha - YTD (kgMS/ha/YTD)||217.00||258.00||299.00||341.00||382.00||422.00||-465|
|Bulk Milk SCC (SCC x 1000)||145||148||143||154||137||139||+12|
|Animal Health - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|BCS (average whole herd)||5.20||5.20||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.4|
|BCS (average heifers)||5.40||5.40||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.2|
|Lame cows - new cases||1||1||1||3||2||2||+2|
|Lame cows - YTD||10||11||12||15||17||19||-18|
|Mastitis - new cases||2||2||1||4||4||2||-|
|Mastitis - YTD||18||20||21||25||29||31||-18|
|Number of cows on penicillin||2||2||1||5||4||2||-|
|Number of cows on penicillin YTD||26||28||29||34||38||40||-25|
|Culls - new cases||0||0||0||0||0||2||+2|
|Culls - YTD||4||4||4||4||4||6||-10|
|Deaths - new cases||0||1||0||1||0||0||-|
|Deaths - YTD||2||3||3||4||4||4||-|
|Pasture Production - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|Average pasture cover (kgDM/ha)||2120||2063||2195||2300||2248||2031||-152|
|Average pasture growth rates (kgDM/day)||44||52||78||69||60||51||+10|
|Lowest post graze residual (kgDM/ha)||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||-|
|Highest pre graze cover (kgDM/ha)||2800||2850||2800||2900||2900||2800||-400|
|Average area grazed/day for milkers (ha)||6.00||6.00||6.00||6.00||5.60||6.00||+3.3|
|Total Biomass Measured (kgDM) )|
|Supplementary Use - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|Average PKE (kg/cow/day)||0.50||0.30||2.00||0.10||1.00||1.00||-1|
|Average maize (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Average silage (kg/cow/day)||0.10||0.00||0.10||0.00||0.00||0.00||-2.5|
|Silage usage YTD||13.50||13.50||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||-15.2|
|Silage Harvested Tonnes (DM)||14.80||0.00||0.00||0.00||2.50||0.00||-|
|Total Supplement Feed (per cow kgDM)||67.30||69.50||85.00||85.60||92.60||99.60||+47.1|
|Total Supplement YTD (Tonnes)||27.30||28.10||34.40||34.70||37.50||40.40||-100.2|
|Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|kgN applied per ha/% of farm||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||29.50 KgN/ 66.70 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||12.20 KgN/ 44.40 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 %|
|kgN applied YTD (average kgN/ha)||28.20||47.90||48.00||53.30||53.30||53.30||-23.3|
|GA applied (20gm/ha)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Effluent Applied y/n||Y||Y||N||N||N||N||-|
|Paddocks effluent applied||4||4||0||0||0||0||-|
|Application Depth (mm)||18.00||18.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Climate - Week ending||7/09/2020||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||Variance|
|Temperature (ave. °C)||11.00||10.00||12.10||13.61||13.50||13.50||-8|
|Soil temperature (ave. °C at 10cm depth)||13.20||13.20||13.80||13.30||14.50||15.00||-7|
|Soil Moisture(% at 10cm depth)||34.70||33.60||32.40||33.50||33.60||33.00||+6|