Week ending 2-11-20 farm notes:
We are well and truly on the post peak decline after a stunning period of milk production. Pasture quality has got away from us, with pastures going to seed and challenges in achieving target residuals. APC was maintained at 2336 kg DM/ha with an average growth rate of 77 kg DM/ha/day for the week. Our focus now is on maintaining enough quality feed ahead as we navigate this unknown summer. Our 19ha of silage (red on the wedge) is unlikely to get into the pit for another three weeks, because of the backlog facing contractors, so we have decided to make baleage in 6ha over the weekend, if possible, to get those paddocks back into the rotation quicker. Tom has started pre-mowing this week as we send cows through a few paddocks (around 3000 kg DM/ha) that are above ideal pre-graze cover.
On Monday we sprayed 9ha with Dockstar and Sprinter. These are paddocks that missed out on an autumn spray and some that are due to go into brassicas next season. This will control dock, shepherd’s purse, wild turnip and hedge mustard.
The kale crops were also sprayed with Sequence for summer grasses, along with Kaiso and Sparta for cutworm, springtail and leaf-miner. Turnips will get sprayed in two weeks’ time.
All crops have received another 5kg of Slugout around the outside of the crop. Plant populations should be 30 plants or more per/m2. The kale crop is well over this and the turnips are around 15-20 plants/m2 with more seed still to germinate.
The chicory has also been sprayed with Valdo and Sequence.
ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE
We still have 50 calves that are on 3.5L/day. They are due to be weighed on Thursday to determine the next mob to be weaned. Lameness continues to track at very low levels with 23 cows drafted out and checked so far this year (vs 111 last season).
Cows are actively seeking shade as both temperature and humidity increased over the last month. We have extra troughs in the races, and try to provide shade for the hotter days. Ensuring cows have access to enough clean water is critical. We have yard sprinklers but haven’t started using them yet.
Cows normally breath around 30 times a minute. In a cow that is heat-stressed this will rise to 40 breaths/minute. This is an easy method to determine (along with grazing behaviour) if your cows would benefit from cooling strategies.
Nothing to report
We received our new Farm Environment Plan, thanks to the team at Fonterra. It’s great to have all our planning in one document, including a component for GHG. The clearly-defined action list goes on the wall to contribute to our work plan for the farm. An outstanding action for us was to develop a formal effluent management plan.
DairyNZ has some quality content in their New Workplace Design video series. One of my favourites is from Joan Baker on key trends in business and management: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oroot17vyGE
For the last 10 months the team at Owl Farm has been looking at technology options that can provide the following:
And specifically for us as a Demonstration Farm, we need to use the technology to capture data for better decision-making. At the beginning of the season we installed ProTrack auto-drafting which enabled milking to become a one-person job. We are now exploring options for individual cow management technology. We use the wagon wheel KPIs to explore the merits of current and potential technology and how they enable us to move closer to our goals in all areas.
Waikato University has a tower that measures carbon dioxide from soil currently at Owl Farm. Its purpose is to look specifically at the impact of a summer crop cycle. Last week a group of scientists from Waikato University specialising in soil, GHG, computers, biology etc, presented to 80 Year 9 science students about the technology and the importance of science in understanding the climate change challenge. It was a great example of the many fields of science required in primary production research for NZ farm systems.
PLANNING FOR THE MONTH AHEAD:
Cheers Jo + Tom
|Milk Production - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|Cow's in milk||407||407||405||405||405||405||+10|
|Springer herd/dry cows||0||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Number of cows in big herd||240||240||240||240||240||245||+5|
|Number of cows in small herd||160||160||160||160||150||150||-|
|Number of cows in colostrum herd||1||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Number of Cows in the Treatment/Sick herd||6||7||20||5||15||10||+3|
|KgMS/cow/day (cows in the vat only)||2.25||2.18||2.14||2.14||2.07||1.90||+.23|
|Milk production for week ending (kgMS)||6071.00||5869.00||5805.00||5825.00||5676.00||5214.00||+608|
|Total milk production - YTD (kgMS)||49101.00||54970.00||60778.00||66603.00||72279.00||77493.00||-50279|
|Milk production per ha (kgMS/ha/day)||6.10||5.90||5.90||5.90||5.60||5.20||+.6|
|Total milk production per ha - YTD (kgMS/ha/YTD)||341.00||382.00||422.00||463.00||502.00||538.00||-349|
|Bulk Milk SCC (SCC x 1000)||154||137||139||141||136||121||-6|
|Animal Health - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|BCS (average whole herd)||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.4|
|BCS (average heifers)||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||4.90||+.2|
|Lame cows - new cases||3||2||2||1||1||2||+2|
|Lame cows - YTD||15||17||19||20||21||23||-14|
|Mastitis - new cases||4||4||2||1||4||0||-2|
|Mastitis - YTD||25||29||31||32||36||36||-13|
|Number of cows on penicillin||5||4||2||4||5||2||-|
|Number of cows on penicillin YTD||34||38||40||44||49||51||-14|
|Culls - new cases||0||0||2||0||0||0||-|
|Culls - YTD||4||4||6||6||6||6||-10|
|Deaths - new cases||1||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Deaths - YTD||4||4||4||4||4||4||-|
|Pasture Production - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|Average pasture cover (kgDM/ha)||2300||2248||2031||2033||2304||2336||+153|
|Average pasture growth rates (kgDM/day)||69||60||51||80||97||77||+36|
|Lowest post graze residual (kgDM/ha)||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||1500||-|
|Highest pre graze cover (kgDM/ha)||2900||2900||2800||2800||2800||2850||-350|
|Average area grazed/day for milkers (ha)||6.00||5.60||6.00||5.40||5.20||5.45||+2.75|
|Total Biomass Measured (kgDM) )|
|Supplementary Use - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|Average PKE (kg/cow/day)||0.10||1.00||1.00||3.00||2.00||0.20||-1.8|
|Average maize (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Average silage (kg/cow/day)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-2.5|
|Silage usage YTD||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||14.00||-15.2|
|Silage Harvested Tonnes (DM)||0.00||2.50||0.00||40.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Total Supplement Feed (per cow kgDM)||85.60||92.60||99.60||134.40||155.30||156.80||+104.3|
|Total Supplement YTD (Tonnes)||34.70||37.50||40.40||54.50||62.90||63.50||-77.1|
|Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|kgN applied per ha/% of farm||12.20 KgN/ 44.40 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||0.00 KgN/ 0.00 %||27.00 KgN/ 68.00 %||20.40 KgN/ 22.90 %||22.90 %|
|kgN applied YTD (average kgN/ha)||53.30||53.30||53.30||53.30||72.00||76.60||-|
|GA applied (20gm/ha)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Effluent Applied y/n||N||N||N||N||N||N||-|
|Paddocks effluent applied||0||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Application Depth (mm)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||-|
|Climate - Week ending||28/09/2020||5/10/2020||12/10/2020||19/10/2020||26/10/2020||2/11/2020||Variance|
|Temperature (ave. °C)||13.61||13.50||13.50||12.40||17.40||17.60||-3.9|
|Soil temperature (ave. °C at 10cm depth)||13.30||14.50||15.00||15.90||18.00||20.00||-2|
|Soil Moisture(% at 10cm depth)||33.50||33.60||33.00||32.60||33.20||33.00||+6|