Monday, 25 September 2017
Week ending farm notes
- Cover has decreased this week to 2,171kgDM/ha with net growth of 57kg/day. The 3 silage paddocks were cut, contributing a big change in average cover, and the grazing cover of the farm has gone from an average of 2,229kgDM/ha to 2,171kgDM/ha. This week, cows have effectively been on an 18 day round of the farm as the areas undersown were lightly grazed off out of rotation. With 7.7ha sprayed out into new grass and demand with calves on pasture the feed wedge is very tight as demand is still approximately 58-60kgDM/ha. There is enough cover on farm to support milking, however there will not likely be sufficient surplus on hand on 10 days to allow removal of area for cropping without decreasing cow intakes.
- The Feed wedge forecasts a marginal deficit when the cropping area is removed based on growth of 65kg/day and offering cows 18kgDM (reduced allocation as utilisation has improved significantly this week, and higher allocations saw wasted feed). However, we are unsure of achieving growth rates of 65kg/day on a tight wedge and forecast 23 day round. We intend to slow the round down to 28 days, which will ensure we are able to maintain an appropriate round and feed wedge when all of the crop area is out. In retrospect, 2 of 3 silage paddocks could have been eaten, but this alone wouldn’t have slowed the round length enough to cover the looming hole or stretch the round out to 28 days.
- Cows have been allocated 19kg down to 18kg of pasture again this week, and residuals have stayed at 1500-1600kgDM/ha. PKE was fed early in the week in the wet weather and topped up a small grazing allocation. This week we will increase PKE back to the herd at 1-2kg/cow as we slow down the rotation and maximise the growth in the coming weeks.
- Milkers have been producing an average of 1.97kgMS/cow this week on grass and decreasing amounts of PKE, the Fat % drop with no PKE did occur, but volumes have also varied significantly. BCS of cows this week at an average of 4.0 for the farm, with the big herd at 4.22 and the small herd at 3.78 including 30 OAD cows.
- Calving is complete, and pre-mating heat detection had us on track with the proportion of eligible cows cycled prior to mating start (80% of eligible cows by 5 days prior to start of mating). We have used CIDR’s on 56 earlier calving cows who had not cycled and have identified all cows that have had light heats (minimal rubbing and low level of paint disturbance) plus the later calvers to be fitted with K-mars to allow more accurate detection during AB.
Louise and Tom