Tuesday, 5 November 2019


5-11-19 data table

5-11-19 wedge

 

Week ending 4-11-19 farm notes:

  • Growth rates are up again this week to 84kg DM/ha/day. Average pasture cover is on the increase to 2101kg DM/ha, with silage paddocks back in the rotation and a grazing area of 136.3 ha.
  • We have had 1.8 mm of rain over the last 2 weeks, average soil temperature has jumped from 14.9 to 16.3oC, and soil moisture has dropped to 31%. The last time soil moisture has been that low was 20th April 2019.
  • We have potentially earmarked another 2.4 ha for silage that will be cut if we get rain within the week. The last of the Sustain 25K was applied last week and we only have another 10 ha to do which will finish all fertiliser applications for the spring.
  • The paddocks harvested for silage have bounced back better than predicted and filled up the predicted deficit in the feed wedge nicely. We are happy with good quality feed ahead of the cows for the next 3 weeks.
  • Production is just under 1.9kg MS/cow/day. Cows have been busy at work now averaging 200kgMS/cow so far this lactation.
  • Individual BCS was carried out by our certified BCS vet again. The herd averaged 4.4 with heifers averaging 4.6.  Nine cows were identified as having a BCS under 4 (they are all being monitored or are already on OAD milking). This is within the industry target of >85% of the herd being 4+ at mating.
  • It is still important to monitor crops twice weekly to observe potential damage from Argentine stem weevil, leaf miner, slugs, springtail and greasy cutworm. Due to proactive action, plant numbers are still looking very strong in these earlier paddocks.
  • Another dose of rain will boost clover growth so be aware of potential bloat issues. BLOAT OIL is now at moderate dose rate (14ml/cow/day) via the Dosatron. Please be on the look-out, this is a good opportunity for some in-paddock training with staff while doing paddock checks for mating.
  • Seed heads are starting to emerge in the paddocks so it is important to maintain focus on feed allocation and residual management. We are aiming to leave 3-4cm height in the paddocks through grazing (or mowing) to maximise regrowth and minimise evapotranspiration.
  • 85 R2 heifers were weighed on the 4th November, averaging 333 kg which is 18kg above target for this time. Eleven heifers are under target and 6 of those require weight gains of 0.75 kg/day until PSC to reach target. The mob has averaged 0.87 kg/day since the last weighing on the 30th  This information is useful when planning feed strategies with the grazier, especially if they are to remain in one mob. One bull has been removed from the mob to prevent boredom and in house fighting.
  • Cows feel hot 10-15oC sooner than we do and we notice they are starting to seek shade during the day. Offering 5m2/cow shade area is ideal and ensuring that more than 100L water/cow/day is available to ensure intake and milk production is maintained during the hot days.  Sprinklers have been started in the shed since the weekend for cow comfort. Daytime highs of 26oC and night-time lows of 9oC have resulted in average temperatures around 14oC and relative humidity levels are still low around the low 40%.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 18.75 kg DM grass
  • Be sure to put in your diary the next farm Focus Day on the 27th Nov – we’d love to see you there. Topics include: season update; people priority part 2; crop care and future strategies.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019


Week ending 28/10/19 farm notes:

  • Growth rates have fallen this week to 63kgDM/ha/day. Average pasture cover is back under control at 2039kg DM/ha, having made 23ha of silage over the weekend.
  • Silage was cut towards the end of last week and stacked on Sunday. 23ha of surplus was taken for silage giving us approximately 50ton of DM.
  • By removing this surplus it has made it easier to graze paddocks at target pre grazing levels of 2750 and hit 1500-1600 residuals.
  • Production back again slightly this week to 1.94kgms/cow.
  • The remainder of our cropping area was drilled on Wednesday. Some plants already sticking their heads up. The paddock was sprayed out using Crucial (weeds and grasses), Sparta (sprintails) and also 10kg of slugbait was spread at drilling. They were they sprayed with Telar as a pre emergence spray.
  • Slugs are still prevalent in all of the crop paddocks so another 5kg of slug bait will be spread on the earlier drilled paddocks.
  • Plant numbers still looking very strong in these earlier paddocks.
  • Mating is tracking along nicely. Return rate is a little high at 55% but the week that is returning had our CIDRs in it so this is to be expected. After 4 weeks we have submitted 97.5% of the herd, of the 2.5% of non cyclers:
    • 5 were late calvers calving in early September and have had no heat yet
    • 6 have had a heat but have since been lame or had mastitis.
  • Minerals Mag dusting has now ceased but more Mag C is being offered in the water supply
  • BLOAT OIL is now at moderate dose rate (14mls/cow/day) via the Dosatron, now that clover content of pasture is starting to increase. Our vet has mentioned that there has been a few cases reported over the past week or so in the area so please be on the look out. A good opportunity for some in paddock training with staff while doing paddock checks for mating.
  • The 5 cows confirmed with Theileria have recovered well under OAD milking and ad-lib feeding. However another 3 cases were found last week. A dose of Haemoplex was given and the same TLC treatment offered for the past 5 days. They are all coping well.
  • 61 calves were weaned last week after they were weighed and given their BVD booster. The remaining 55 will be reweighed in 10days and more added to weaned mob as they reach weaning weights. They are all eating 1-1.5kg meal, those on milk are on 3.5-4L milk from the vat.
  • Weaned mob are set stocked in a grass paddock with daily meal top up. Those on milk are on every 2nd day shifts around the farm.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 18.75 kg DM grass

28-10-19 data table

29-10-19 wedge

Monday, 21 October 2019


21-10-19 data

Week ending 21-10-19 farm notes:

  • Growth rate remained steady at 85kg DM/ha/day and average pasture cover has climbed to 2443 kg DM/ha.
  • We have earmarked an extra 15.3ha for silage to be cut towards the end of this week. Our grazeable area is now 136.3ha (with all crop area out) and with this extra 15.3ha shut up for silage we have 121ha for grazing for the next three weeks. This gives us a stocking rate of 3.34 cows/ha and a daily demand of 65 kg DM/ha/day which will speed our rotation length up to around 18-20 days for the next 3 weeks.
  • We are adding to our existing silage stack and using inoculants on each addition.
  • The remaining 3.9 ha of late turnips will be planted this week.
  • We had our trusted crop advisors from PGGW Seeds in to have a look at population density and pest and disease. Currently we have around 60 plants/m2 which is well within the 30 plants/m2 required for a viable crop. There is still evidence of slug damage so paddocks will get another 5kg/ha of slug bait after the rain.
  • Pest levels will be monitored continuously during our weekly farm walks.
  • After 3 weeks of mating 93% of the herd have been inseminated.
    • 14 have not had a cycle yet (of these 4 are calved less than 42 days)
    • 18 cows have had a pre-mating heat but haven’t been inseminated yet (of these 8 have been lame, 1 had mastitis and 1 had Theileria)
  • Any cow that has had a recorded pre-mating heat and has not yet cycled by week 4 will have a vet check to determine next steps. Focus is on addressing health issues that may prevent cows cycling. Any cow that has been on OAD or dealing with any health issues will receive a Vitamin B12 injection this week.
  • Minerals are unchanged with MgO dusting, MgCl and bloat oil via the Dosatron.
  • The 5 cows confirmed with Theileria have recovered well under OAD milking and ad-lib feeding. No new cases have been confirmed.
  • Calves are due to be weighed and BVD vaccinated this coming week, along with R2 heifers being weighed at the end of the month.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 19 kg DM grass

21-10-19 wedge

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


16-10-19 wedgeWeek ending 14-10-19 farm notes:

  • Growth rate for the week was a whooping 87kg DM/ha/day and average pasture cover is 2312 kg DM/ha. There will be more silage closed up this week.
  • Last Monday we cut 8.9ha for silage off the milking platform, along with an additional 3.5ha cut from the runoff. This was added to our existing silage pit on Wednesday making approximately 30t of silage.
  • As per last week’s plan we pre-graze mowed 6.3ha of pasture that was 3400-3500 kg DM/ha and the cows grazed this over 48 hrs. Utilisation was pretty good except during the last day when it was raining.
  • 2 ha of clean crop bulb turnip and 2.9 ha of kale was planted this week. These crops also received pre-emergence spray along with 220 kg/ha of CropZeal with Boron boost and 10 kg/ha of slug bait.
  • KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR SLUGS!! We are applying another 5 kg/ha again this week due to the rain and slugs eating the bait!!
  • An additional 3.8 ha was sprayed out this week for drilling turnips on the 20th of the month.
  • A change from last year is the move from Raphno as an early summer feed to clean crop Firefly Kale for early autumn feed. Early grazing at yields of around 12 t DM/ha gives us 20 days of feed to prepare for late summer rains once the turnips have been eaten.  This crop has more flexibility to carry over as an early winter feed if needed, with yields up to 18 t DM/ha.
  • After 2 weeks of mating 65% of the herd have been inseminated. Numbers per day are variable and slower than last year without the PG programme being used.
  • Race maintenance has been carried out this week. The races were scraped and resurfaced with hard rubble, and a skin of sand which has been rolled. We have extended the area of stockrock at the yard entrance.
  • Minerals are unchanged with MgO dusting, MgCl and bloat oil via the Dosatron.
  • After 7 weeks holding production over 2.1 kg MS/cow, milk production has dropped. This represents a similar trend to last season.
  • This coincided with confirmed cases of Theileria in the herd. Five cows with Theileria have been put into a OAD milking herd with ad-lib pasture and PKE. Two have severely-compromised milk production but one of the worst affected was cycling today! All cows are being checked at every milking for symptoms such as low milk production and pale vulvas using the Field Anaemia Nearest Indicator Card (F.A.N.I); see info on the DairyNZ website.  Cows diagnosed are in the 15-19% range, for which 2-3 weeks OAD is recommended, with minimal stress.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass

14-10-19 data table

Monday, 7 October 2019


7-10-19 data table7-10-19 wedgeWeek ending 7/10/19 farm notes:

  • Growth rate for the week was 64 kg DM/ha/day which is bolstered by the 100+ growth rate achieved on the paddocks shut up for silage.
  • Average pasture cover is 2232 kgDM/ha including the silage paddocks. The amount of surplus that we had predicted is reducing each week, because actual growth rate has not fulfilled the expected growth we used for forecasting out 3-4 weeks.  We have spent a lot of time looking at the feed wedge and allocating the week ahead to see what covers we are due to be in next week. We have settled on cutting 8.9 ha for silage today (which have covers over 3900 kg DM/ha).  Our aggressive early approach to surplus has meant that we have maintained target pre-grazing covers and feed quality ahead of the cows.  But in order to ensure we have enough quantity for the next 3-4 weeks, we have decided to put the cows into 6.3 ha that was earmarked recently for silage.  These paddocks are around 3400 kg DM/ha and will be pre-graze mown before grazing if dry, or after grazing if wet.  Bringing these paddocks back into the round buys us almost 48 hours which is an extra 130 kg DM/ha cover on the paddocks due to be grazed ahead of us.
  • We have sprayed out 7.3 ha for early (January grazed) turnips and (March grazed) kale crops which are due to be planted on Wednesday. This drops our available grass area down to 140.2 ha for a week, then another 3.9 ha gets sprayed out for our late turnip crop, taking us down to 136.3 ha grazeable area.  This pushes the stocking rate up to 2.9 cows/ha and a daily demand of 58 kg DM/ha/day, which is still lower than the long-term growth rate for Oct/Nov and Dec.
  • For the next 3 weeks (with silage recovery and crops sprayed out) our stocking rate will be 3.2 cows/ha and daily demand 62 kg DM/ha/day. We will hold a 20-day rotation allocating 6.5 ha/day and are prepared to fill the gap for a week with 2-3kg DM/cow PKE if there is not enough pasture to maintain intake at 19 kg DM/cow/day and residuals drop below 1550 kgDM/ha.
  • Our priority is getting crops into the ground on time and using surplus management to maintain quality over the majority of the farm.
  • We are eight days into mating, and happy with progress to date. 38% of the herd were mated in the first week, including all CIDR cows (95 non-CIDR cows have been inseminated). Each day, of all cows showing signs of oestrus, the best eight in the group are being inseminated with sexed semen. We expect 95% of all non-CIDR cows to be mated within three weeks, giving us a target of 16 cows/day.
  • Because we have data on pre-mating heats we know that a larger number of cows are due to come up for mating on week 3, so are not too concerned about the current rate of 14 cows/day for the first week. Our break-down is roughly as follows:
    • 60 CIDR cows
    • 40 late cows
    • 90 cows cycled in week 1 pre-mating heats
    • 90 cows cycled in week 2 pre-mating heats
    • 120 cows cycled in week 3 pre-mating heats
  • Data gives you confidence in decision-making.
  • This year, with the Gen 2 glue and proper preparation, nearly all the heat patches are staying attached, aiding heat detection. Paint is topped up daily.
  • Tom has been in communication with the grazier to monitor how the bulls are performing with the heifers. He is looking for signs of lameness, fighting and general health of bulls.
  • Minerals are unchanged with MgO dusting, MgCl and bloat oil via Dosatron.
  • Calves are now in three mobs, moving around the farm with two days per paddock. They are maintaining daily meal intake around 1 kg each.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass

Tuesday, 1 October 2019


Week ending 30-9-19 farm notes:

  • Growth rate for the week was 58 kg DM/ha/day which is just over our daily demand. Average Pasture Cover increased slightly to 2194 kg DM/ha/day. Having skipped paddocks this week, we can go into pre-grazing covers that are closer to target, reducing the need to pre-graze mow and achieve desired residuals around 1550 kg DM/ha.
  • Growth rate has not increased past 65kg DM/ha this week as expected, so we have reduced the potential silage area from 19 ha down to 10 ha, which is still due to be cut on the 10th Because we are spraying out 6 ha for crop regardless we are still flexible with the area to be cut, depending on next week’s farm walk. Pre-graze paddock covers are still below 3000 kg DM/ha with high quality feed available for milking cows.
  • Paddocks seem to have low levels of weed compared to past springs. A few paddocks are due to be sprayed with Dockstar.
  • We have been sitting on a 23 day rotation length for 3 weeks now and this will drop down to 21 days with crop paddocks taken out of the round. A growth rate of 60 kg DM/ha/day will accumulate 1200 kg DM cover in paddocks between grazing - enough to keep the cows well fed.
  • 60 cows received a CIDR on the 25th They will be inseminated later this week (this is 15% of the herd - a slight increase on the 13.5% used last year).
  • Tail paint was topped up on Sunday night before mating started on 30th Heat Patch Plus were applied to all except the CIDR cows. We pre-warmed the patches and used a brush to prepare the area on each cow prior to sticking it on. As well as drafting at cups off, paddock records are being kept and used.
  • Six Jersey bulls have now gone out with the 90 heifers, a 15:1 ratio. We will look at reducing this ratio after week 6 of mating.
  • Cows are still producing over 2.1 kg MS/day. Energy calculations showed that the cows require 220 MJ ME/cow/day; we estimate their energy intake is over 230 MJ ME/cow/day and are confident they are starting to put on weight as they go into mating. Minerals have remained unchanged and bloat oil is still being administered via the Dosatron.
  • Calves are all outside now and eating approx. 1 kg meal/calf/day.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass

1-10-19 data table

1-10-19 wedge

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


wedge 24-9-19Week ending 23-9-19 farm notes:

  • 113 heifer calves were weighed on 19th September; they had an average weight of 64 kg.
  • Growth rate for the week was 53 kg DM/ha/day and cover dropped slightly to 2169 kg DM/ha. Achieving target residuals has been challenging this week.  We have pre-graze mowed 6.5 ha that had higher than desired residuals after the last grazing.  19 ha are ear-marked for silage to be cut on 10th October, weather permitting.  7 ha are due to be sprayed out for crop on 30th  We have projected out our feed wedge for the next 4 weeks and are comfortable that this will deal to the surplus, if growth rates stay at or below 70 kg DM/ha (long-term peak growth rate for the farm).
  • Area allocation is 160m2/cow/day which will reduce as we push the cows through the paddocks with 2900 kg DM/ha pre-grazing on our wedge over the next week in an attempt to get into 2700-2800 kg DM/ha pre-grazing covers again.
  • 83 non-cycling cows have been identified, of which 70 meet the criteria to receive a CIDR. These cows have calved more than 42 days, are less than 8 years old and not on the cull list. This is double last year’s number, but the CIDR programme has been brought forward 7 days earlier.  The plan is for these cows to have their first insemination in the first week of mating (prior to using the sexed semen). These girls will be mated to premier sires.
  • Cows have been producing over 2.1 kg MS/cow/day for the last 5 weeks, predominantly on all grass. The feed analysis from samples taken last week shows an average DM% of 12.3 (range 12.1 -12.8) including annuals.  The average ME of the samples was 12.3 (range 12.1 -12.7).  Crude protein ranged from 25-30% DM.
  • We also had our effluent sampled from the pond and this will be used to inform fertiliser applications in conjunction with our fertiliser rep.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass
  • We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow, Wednesday 25th September to discuss in more detail.23-9-19 data table

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


16-9-19 data table

17-9-19 wedgeWeek ending 16/9/19 farm notes:

  • We now have all 405 cows calved with 13 days until mating starts!
  • 113 replacement heifers are all now on OAD feeding, dehorned and the first mob of 41 calves weighing 60kg+ are enjoying their time outside. Calves are due for their second recorded weighing and their booster lepto and 5n1 injections on Friday.
  • Pasture growth rates have for 2 weeks been above demand at 65 kg DM/ha/day this week increasing cover to 2212 kg DM/ha.
  • Area allocation at approximately 158m2/cow/day on a 23 day rotation is ensuring the cows are being well feed allocating 19.5kgDM/c/day (which is approx. 4% of their liveweight). Pre-grazing covers ahead this week are around 2800-2900 kgDM/ha which indicates that target residuals will not be meet unless we start to manage surplus feed. Take a look at the feedwedge!
  • Focus is shifting to cropping, pasture improvement and silage making. We have followed the cows this last week through 30ha which received plantain broadcast via the Mag spreader at 4kg seed/ha mixed with sand as a carrier. This is targeted for paddocks that have recently come out of crop or else are not due for cropping within 2 years.
  • Spraying out the first 5 ha (from 12ha) for crop will occur at the end of the month due to be drilled on the 10th October for Turnips. We are trying to co-ordinate our silage to align with this to make it cost effective adding to our existing stack (of 100tDM remaining).
  • Pre-mating heat detection and recording has started and 29% of cows were observed cycling in the first 7 days and another 21% in the second week. This information highlights any non-cycling cows that we can make decisions on in the next few weeks.
  • Mating will commence on the 30th of September. We have 100 sexed semen straws to use from the 5th October on the top 80% of BW cows. All other cows mated prior to and during this period will be mated with Premier sires. From the start of mating the bottom 25% of BW cows will be mated to Wagyu along with all cows that cycle from week 5 to week 7. After this the remaining cows will be mated with short gestation diary semen.
  • The Dosatron is delivering 100g MgCl/cow/day to all cows. The milking herds are getting 50-60g MgO/cow/day and 100g Limeflour/cow/day dusted onto the paddocks. This works out to be approximately 23g Mg/cow/day based on our estimated wastage and drinking volumes.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Dry cows: 8 kg DM grass
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass
  • We look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday 25th September to discuss in more detail.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


10-9-19 wedge9-9-19 data table

Week ending 9-9-19 farm notes:

  • We now have 402 calved to date (3 left to calve - almost there!).
  • 113 replacement heifers are all now on OAD feeding, dehorned and the first mob of 41 calves weighing 60kg+ are enjoying their time outside.
  • Pasture growth rates have shot up to 61 kg DM/ha/day creating a slight increase in cover to 2151 kg DM/ha.
  • Area allocation at approximately 145m2/cow/day has slightly increased from last week and we are currently on a 25 day rotation which is ensuring the cows are being well feed and achieving desired residual. Pre-grazing covers ahead this week are around 2700 kgDM/ha which will be ideal for our stocking rate on a 22 day rotation allocating 19.5kgDM/c/day.
  • Grazing management focus is on using the wedge to allocate and monitor potential surplus/deficits.
  • Milk production is holding over 2kg MS/cow/day.
  • A wet period over the weekend provided challenges for mineral intake and pasture utilisation in some wetter paddocks. In order to prevent damage we accepted a higher residual to protect regrowth and supplemented both herds during this period with approx. 1 kg PKE/c/day. This strategy may be repeated in times of wet weather.
  • Pre-mating heat detection and recording has started and 29% of cows were observed cycling in the first 7 days.
  • Mating will commence on the 30th of September. We have 100 sexed semen straws to use from the 5th October on the top 80% of BW cows. All other cows mated prior to and during this period will be mated with Premier sires. From the start of mating the bottom 25% of BW cows will be mated to Wagyu along with all cows that cycle from week 5 to week 7. After this the remaining cows will be mated with short gestation diary semen.
  • The team have had a 4 day weekend to refresh after calving and get excited about the mating period ahead.
  • Heifer weights are averaging 276 kg which is 10kg below our target weight using Minda weights. This is a good improvement from where the weights in winter after a prolonged dry Autumn period. The heifers have averaged 0.64kg lwt/day from end of June to the end of August.  The 30% of heifers below target need to gain more than 0.8kg lwt/day to reach target. This highlights the importance of on-going communication with our grazier to ensure we maintain the rate of lwt gain and have strategies for at risk animals. Weight data is powerful for informed conversations.
  • We are pleased with the stability of the SCC this season despite the rough weather. With it consistently being under 150,000 we have discontinued weekly stripping.
  • The Dosatron is delivering 100g MgCl/cow/day to all cows. The milking herds are getting 50-60g MgO/cow/day and 100g Limeflour/cow/day dusted onto the paddocks. This works out to be approximately 23g Mg/cow/day based on our estimated wastage and drinking volumes.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Dry cows: 8 kg DM grass
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass
  • Planned feeding levels for next week:
    • Milkers: 20 kg DM grass

Tuesday, 3 September 2019


2-9-19 data tablefeed wedgeWeek ending 2-9-19 farm notes:

  • We now have 392 calved to date (96%).
  • 113 replacement heifers are all now on OAD feeding, dehorned and the first mob of 41 calves weighing 60kg+ have ventured outside.
  • Pasture growth rates have been 45 kg DM/ha/day with a slight drop in cover to 2125 kg DM/ha.
  • Area allocation at approximately 140m2/cow/day remains unchanged from last week and the 27 day rotation is ensuring the cows are being well feed and achieving desired residual. Looking at the feed wedge we can see that this coming week the rotation length will speed up as we enter pre-grazing covers of 2700-2800 kgDM/ha this is ideal for our stocking rate on a 22 day rotation allocating 19.5kgDM/c/day.
  • Grazing management focus from now on is using the wedge to allocate and monitor potential surplus/deficits.
  • Milk production is holding over 2kg MS/cow/day.
  • August-calving cows were metri-checked last week bringing our total number of cows treated to 11% (a marginal improvement on last year).
  • Only lame cows are receiving PKE at approx. 3 kg/c/day.
  • Interesting to look back at supplements feed this season to date compared with last season:
    • Total supplements 36tDM (2019) vs 210tDM (2018).
    • Of this 10t PKE has been purchased and feed (2019) vs 78t (2018).
  • We have used the good growth rates to take advantage of using home grown feed first to produce milk. Time has been spent on measuring and monitoring pasture to make accurate and timely feed allocation decisions.
  • The Dosatron is delivering 100g MgCl/cow/day to all cows. The milking herds are getting 50-60g MgO/cow/day and 100g Limeflour/cow/day dusted onto the paddocks. The colostrum mob are receiving 100g Limeflour/cow/day and 100g MgO/cow/day via PKE in the paddock.
  • The springers are on pasture only with 100g MgO/cow/day dusted on their break. Feeding levels past week:
    • Dry cows: 9 kg DM grass
    • Milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass

Tuesday, 27 August 2019


27-8-19 wedgeWeek ending 26-8-19 farm notes:

  • We now have 387 calved to date (95%) and cows mated to short gestation semen are calving.
  • 113 replacement heifers are all now on OAD feeding and the last 30 are being dehorned today. The calves are still inside and will remain there until the weather settles. The aim is to put the first mob of calves outside next week once they have been weighed. We just started taking milk from the vat to feed calves and are transitioning from kept colostrum.
  • Pasture growth rates have been 48 kg DM/ha/day with a slight drop in cover to 2139 kg DM/ha.
  • We averaged just over 142m2/cow/day allocation for the milking mob for the week, based on going into 2900 kg DM/ha, grazing down to 1500-1600 kg DM/ha. This was allocating an average of 18.5-19.5 kg DM grass/cow/day over the two herds for the week.
  • Rotation length at 28 days is slower than planned as per our SRP (22 day).
  • It’s been hard this week to achieve desired residuals with increasing area allocated. The weather has also meant that cows have been pulled from some wet paddocks earlier to prevent pasture damage.
  • Milk production is holding nicely at 2.1 kg MS/cow/day.
  • New cases of lameness have settled down to an expected level for the time of year with an average of 15 cows in this mob close to the shed.
  • August-calving cows are being metri-checked today and all cows tail painted BLUE to start pre-mating heat monitoring for our PSM in 4 weeks’ time. This provides a great opportunity to get everyone’s eye in before we start mating (this is particularly important for us as we are only AI mating again this year).
  • Bloat oil is being added to the water system to charge the troughs at a low rate so that all troughs have oil present before we get into bloat season.
  • For 3 milkings this week during wet weather the decision was made to use PKE as a carrier for MgO as it was too wet for effective dusting. Approx. 1kg/cow/day was used. Dusting has since continued with MgO being given at every feed (this is our preferred option).
  • The Dosatron is delivering 100g MgCl/cow/day to all cows. The milking herds are getting 100-120g MgO/cow/day dusted onto the paddocks. The colostrum mob are receiving 100g Limeflour/cow/day and 100g MgO/cow/day via PKE in the paddock.
  • The springers are on pasture only with 100g MgO/cow/day dusted on their break. Feeding levels past week:
    • Dry cows: 9 kg DM grass
    • First herd milkers: 19.5 kg DM grass
    • Second herd milkers: 18.5 kg DM grass
  • Feeding levels week ahead:
    • No changes expected
    • 26-8-19 data table

Tuesday, 20 August 2019


19-8-19 data table

20-8-19 wedge

Week ending 19-8-19 farm notes:

  • We now have 377 calved to date (91%) and cows mated to short gestation semen are calving.
  • 113 of the replacement heifers are all now on OAD feeding. This saves time in the afternoons. The calves are still inside and will remain there until the weather settles. Once they are eating a good amount of meal and the last mob has been dehorned and vaccinated, they can go outside.  Calves are being fed on stored milk with none taken from the vat.
  • Growth rates have reduced to 31 kg DM/ha/day with a drop in cover to 2152 kg DM/ha.
  • We averaged just over 104m2/cow/day allocation for the milking mob for the week, based on going into 3300 kg DM/ha, grazing down to 1500 kg DM/ha. This was allocating an average of 18.5 kg DM grass/cow/day over the 2 herds for the week.
  • Rotation length at 38.8 days is slower than planned as per our SRP (31 day).
  • Milker residuals have come closer to target: 1550 this week with some better weather and shorter pre-graze covers but larger areas.
  • Milk production is holding steady at 2.1 kg MS/cow/day.
  • We have continued our regular Thursday teat-stripping session to identify any new cases of mastitis. We have recommenced using our automatic teat sprayer so are awaiting a visit to review its accuracy, and ability to complete the task while maintaining a one-person shed.
  • Managing the lame herd separately has worked a treat, along with race work. Lame cows have now settled, with the majority of those lifted in the previous week back in the herd. The yard entrance and one intersection have been scraped off and resurfaced by a contractor; this has helped improve cow flow and hopefully the number of sore feet appearing each week. The remaining mob will join back in with the colostrum herd once they have finished the last break in their paddock.
  • This week we had the milking herd individually Body Condition Scored by Cambridge Vets. The average was 5.2 which is a very pleasing result after 6 weeks of average weather on a limited supplement diet. The valuable part of an individual BCS is to identify weight loss above average; we had 8 cows that had lost more than 1 BCS, 5 of these have had lameness issues, 1 metritis and 2 are still under investigation.
  • Unfortunately on Sunday night we lost three cows, the vets have taken samples to see if it was metabolics. Even though the break was dusted and water available it could still be an issue.
  • Bloat oil is now being added to the water system to charge the troughs at a low rate so that all troughs have oil present before we get into bloat season.
  • The sorghum silage has been shut up again while still allowing options to ensile more surplus grass if needed. Only 60 cows are receiving PKE – colostrum and lame cows.
  • The dosatron is delivering 100g MgCl/cow/day to all cows. The milking herds are getting 100-120g MgO/cow/day dusted onto the paddocks. The colostrum mob are receiving 100g Limeflour/cow/day and 100g MgO/cow/day via PKE in the paddock.
  • The springers are now just on grass with 100g MgO/cow/day dusted on their break. Feeding levels past week:
    • Springer mob + heifers: 8.5 kg DM grass
    • First herd milkers: 19 kg DM grass
    • Second herd milkers: 17.5 kg DM grass
  • Feeding levels week ahead:
    • No changes expected







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