25 September 2019 Farm Focus Day


Wednesday 25 September 2019

Download Focus Day booklet here

60 attendees heard about our 2019 season to date:
Season so far: More milk from more home grown feed - 2,240kgMS more milk, spent $10k less than budget YTD and have highest ever BCS going into mating.

Accurate soil testing: Adding Total N tests to the 7 blocks soil sampled annually. This allows us to align the most efficient N use strategy with each soil block.

Plan for mating: 100 Sexed semen straws for top 80% BW cows, Wagyu straws for the bottom 20% and all cows cycling in weeks 5-7.  From week 8 to the end of mating cows will receive short gestation dairy semen. 

Study of time and tasks on farm: We are monitoring hours towards our goal of 45hr/week/person (average for the year).  We also analysed time and tasks on farm through spring to identify the areas where we are spending the most time and look at options to reduce these. Movement of cows to and from milking is our first priority.



May Focus Day - Season review and Repro


Owl Farm Focus Day Wednesday, 22 May  

Download the booklet Here

Season Wrap and Repro Focus

Season Update

More milk from fewer cows, less homegrown feed in Autumn and the same bought in feed

Financial Forecast

Profit impact of cost changes, dry weather effects and paying off principal
Reproduction Review

Higher in-calf rate, lower not-in-calf rate and then Neospora
Research Snapshot

DairyNZ’s animal model and research in the fertility BV

Includes lunch, All Welcome

Venue – Owl Farm

St Peter’s School, 1716 Cambridge road,

 Old SH1, Cambridge


Focus Day November 21 2018


Last Owl Farm Focus Day 

Wednesday 21 November 2018

87 attendees heard about a World Markets update from Westpac Economist Anne Boniface.

The information discussed is in the Westpac Fortnightly Agri-update.  Impacts of global demand and supply, what's really happening plus the impact and potential changes in the strength of the kiwi dollar.

Maximising Summer Performance was discussed in a Workshop session sharing ideas on tactics and trigger points to hit key targets. 
the topics for consideration involved:

  1. How do you deploy your supplementary feeds over the next 4 months - what factors need to be considered, e.g. setting aside sialge for spring and winter, and keeping some for the Autumn rains.  How much PKE can be fed and still manage your FEI, how does this change your approach to feeding?
  2. What do you do about rotation length?  Great discussion around when to extend it, what a good target is, and the need to be flexible in response to changing pasture growth.
  3. When would you use OAD on the farm, for all or part of the herd and how do you manage the process?
  4. Lastly, the theme through all of the topics was around flexibility and monitoring.  Growth rates will have an impact on most of the decisions above, and we need to remain flexible with all of the topics ot ahcieve a great outcome.  Starting with a plan of what we expect growth to be will help us easily identify if we are off track.

Current Season Update 
Less cows are making more milk, 94% of the herd submitted in 3 weeks of AB, 4 times last year’s spring silage made.  Holding cows over 2kgMS/cow/day has been a standout highlight of the season with less brought0in feed used to achieve this.  Having strong decision rules around how we wanted to oerate the farm was a key to seeing these results.

Key decision rules Sep - Oct

  • Keep pre-graze under 3,000kgDM/ha
  • Area grazed constant around 6.5ha/day. 17-22 day round of area available to graze
  • Back the farm to grow – put the surplus in the stack
  • Focus on next round quality – cows must work to graze to 1600 or less.
  • Mower fixes any allocation errors where residuals were higher


May 23 Owl Farm Focus Day


Focus Day May 23

An excellent day, where we stayed dry for the most part and brought the cows to the people!

Focus Day Booklet

Our Final Focus day for the dairy season. Morning tea at 10.15am and event kick off 10.30am. Plus our famous Hot Lunch at 12.30!

Time for the round up on the 2018 Season, we'll be all done and dusted and looking at some interim profit figures. 
Fertiliser focus - three years of fertility change on the farm to optimise soil tests. And how you can use less Nitrogen to grow the same amount of grass.
A year of putting plantain into paddocks - what have we learned?
What does the Healthy Rivers Plan Variation mean for Owl Farm?




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