Week ending 19-10-20 farm notes:
Today’s farm walk showed pasture growth of 80 kg DM/ha for the week. With APC at 2033 kg DM/ha and 14.5 ha of silage harvested over the weekend, we have worked our way through a tight period of getting crops in the ground and making silage in between the welcome rain. We used PK over the last week at 3 kg DM/cow/day to maintain intakes. The variability in growth rates has been a challenge, but Tom has maintained a focus on residuals and ensuring cows achieve consistent allocation around 19 kg DM/day. FEI has remained an A grade and cows continue to produce 2.14 kg MS/cow/day.
This weekend we ensiled 46 t DM of silage from home and purchased another 50t DM from the Fonterra farms.
The purchased silage costs around 35c/kg DM in the stack, and the silage made on farm around 12-15c/kg DM. Our updated Farmax feed budget (using average summer growth rates) shows that, with another 15 ha of silage made on farm in November and 3.5 ha of hay, we should finish the season with 65 bales of hay (great for good conditioned springer cows) and 60 t DM of grass silage for early season milk production. This is equivalent to approximately 2 t/ha of imported feed vs 3 t/ha actual last season.
On-going crop monitoring is a priority. Tom says, “If you don’t have a good start you don’t have a good end.” Strategically-placed logs (or sacks) in the paddock allow you to check slug numbers. We found seven this morning. Our kale paddocks had 10 kg/ha of slug bait applied at sowing but will receive another 1.5 kg/ha on Friday of Metarex which, although at $25/kg is more expensive, gives a better option in wet conditions now – which is when it is needed.
ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE
We are close to running out of MgO on farm and have decided that, with the cows still producing over 2.1 kg MS/day and the pasture still high quality and in a good growing state, we will continue to supplement with MgCl and MgO. It costs around 12c/cow/day in product. Although dusting creates an extra job, we will wait until milk production drops below 1.8 kg MS/cow and/or pastures go to seed before relying on MgCl alone for magnesium supplementation.
Today (after 26 days of mating) 95% of cows have been submitted. Our three-week Submission Rate in MINDA is currently 88% vs 91% last season. This year we used less intervention (9% Cidrs vs 15%), brought the PSM forward by one week, and used less SGL semen due to the Wagyu mating programme. At this stage we will continue as planned, using Kmars and tail paint for heat detection.
Calves were weighed by an enthusiastic group of Year 11 students under the watchful eye of LaArni yesterday. Average weight was 89 kg, with a liveweight gain of 0.8 kg/calf/day over the last three weeks. There are 44 calves over 90 kg that have been placed in a mob to drop down to 1L milk/day, using the calfeteria to continue shifting them through paddocks before weaning. There are still 22 calves that are underweight, and we want to ensure that calves are at least 80 kg, eating 1 kg meal and over 2 kg pasture per day before weaning.
We are taking time now to check through coding for the season to date for income and expenses relating to early season production. By the end of this month, apart from mating, a lot of the big costs have been invoiced so we can get a better idea on how we are tracking against budget. The revised forecast payout of $6.80/kg MS has given us the confidence to look again at some budget expenses that were on the “nice to do” list, including a dedicated shade/shelter planting plan and continued work on our race improvements.
Nothing to report.
Now that we are through calving and nearly four weeks of mating, we are acutely aware of how tiring the early season can be. Our average hours per FTE is now 49/person/week with a goal to get this to 45/person/week by the end of the season. We have had an average of 23hrs/week additional support for Tom and LaArni, but Tom has struggled to get his hours down without a dedicated permanent part-time third team member on board. We are still working on this.
We have had a successful start to our practical student farm work experience. Our first student for Term 3 and Term 4 with one day a week on farm is ready for his assessment for up to 17 NCEA credits, after learning how to set up and assist milking, draft cows, collect cows, put up fences, ride a tractor and motorbike, wash and carry out maintenance on a bike and weigh calves. Feedback from the school is that this notable contribution and achievement has been attributed to his increased confidence in other areas of school life. Interviews are underway for another student for work placement next year.
PLANNING FOR THE MONTH AHEAD:
Cheers Jo + Tom
|Milk Production - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|Cow's in milk||405||407||407||407||405||405||+10|
|Springer herd/dry cows||4||2||0||0||0||0||-|
|Number of cows in big herd||240||245||240||240||240||240||-|
|Number of cows in small herd||150||150||160||160||160||160||+10|
|Number of cows in colostrum herd||11||1||1||0||0||0||-|
|Number of Cows in the Treatment/Sick herd||4||5||6||7||20||5||-2|
|KgMS/cow/day (cows in the vat only)||2.22||2.23||2.25||2.18||2.14||2.14||+.47|
|Milk production for week ending (kgMS)||5849.00||5883.00||6071.00||5869.00||5805.00||5825.00||+1219|
|Total milk production - YTD (kgMS)||37147.00||43030.00||49101.00||54970.00||60778.00||66603.00||-61169|
|Milk production per ha (kgMS/ha/day)||5.70||5.70||6.10||5.90||5.90||5.90||+1.3|
|Total milk production per ha - YTD (kgMS/ha/YTD)||258.00||299.00||341.00||382.00||422.00||463.00||-424|
|Bulk Milk SCC (SCC x 1000)||148||143||154||137||139||141||+14|
|Animal Health - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|BCS (average whole herd)||5.20||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.4|
|BCS (average heifers)||5.40||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.2|
|Lame cows - new cases||1||1||3||2||2||1||+1|
|Lame cows - YTD||11||12||15||17||19||20||-17|
|Mastitis - new cases||2||1||4||4||2||1||-1|
|Mastitis - YTD||20||21||25||29||31||32||-17|
|Number of cows on penicillin||2||1||5||4||2||4||+2|
|Number of cows on penicillin YTD||28||29||34||38||40||44||-21|
|Culls - new cases||0||0||0||0||2||0||-|
|Culls - YTD||4||4||4||4||6||6||-10|
|Deaths - new cases||1||0||1||0||0||0||-|
|Deaths - YTD||3||3||4||4||4||4||-|
|Pasture Production - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|Average pasture cover (kgDM/ha)||2063||2195||2300||2248||2031||2033||-150|
|Average pasture growth rates (kgDM/day)||52||78||69||60||51||80||+39|
|Lowest post graze residual (kgDM/ha)||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||-|
|Highest pre graze cover (kgDM/ha)||2850||2800||2900||2900||2800||2800||-400|
|Average area grazed/day for milkers (ha)||6.00||6.00||6.00||5.60||6.00||5.40||+2.7|
|Total Biomass Measured (kgDM) )|
|Supplementary Use - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|Average PKE (kg/cow/day)||0.30||2.00||0.10||1.00||1.00||3.00||+1|
|Average maize (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Average silage (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.10||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-2.5|
|Silage usage YTD||13.50||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||-15.2|
|Silage Harvested Tonnes (DM)||0.00||0.00||0.00||2.50||0.00||40.00||+40|
|Total Supplement Feed (per cow kgDM)||69.50||85.00||85.60||92.60||99.60||134.40||+81.9|
|Total Supplement YTD (Tonnes)||28.10||34.40||34.70||37.50||40.40||54.50||-86.1|
|Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|kgN applied per ha/% of farm||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/ 0.00 %||0.00 %|
|kgN applied YTD (average kgN/ha)||47.90||48.00||53.30||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||N||N||N||N||N||-|
|Paddocks effluent applied||4||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Application Depth (mm)||18.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Climate - Week ending||14/09/2020||21/09/2020||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||Variance|
|Temperature (ave. °C)||10.00||12.10||13.61||13.50||13.50||12.40||-9.1|
|Soil temperature (ave. °C at 10cm depth)||13.20||13.80||13.30||14.50||15.00||15.90||-6.1|
|Soil Moisture(% at 10cm depth)||33.60||32.40||33.50||33.60||33.00||32.60||+5.6|