Monday, 16 July 2018

Week ending farm notes 16-07-18

  • Cover has continued easing this week to 2304kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 20kgDM/ha/day.
  • It is critical to note the following points.
    • Our wedge shows a looming hole, our average pasture cover is below target, and our growth rates have been below budget for 3 weeks.
    • This means we will increase supplements to all mobs as much as possible in the coming week to ensure we are at or slower than our spring rotation planner target and that we are using every scrap of dry weather to protect our future growth.
    • Predominantly we will encourage more PKE use to the milkers, and lift their silage allocation to 3kg/cow and offer less grass on fine days in dry paddocks.
  • The week has been slightly warmer but a water logged farm and farm restrictions due to capital projects have had a few impacts.
  • The herds grazed 1.89ha/day equivalent to a 79 day round.
    • This has brought us ahead of our spring rotation planner, and has happened because we could only access half the farm due to the underpass install and having now power and water on one side.
    • Tom has therefore grazed paddocks beneath the top of the wedge where he was able to graze and this has required larger areas. (see wedges for paddocks grazed this week and where they were in the wedge last week!)
    • We also grazed a few very wet paddocks to “high residuals” to get them nipped off in fine weather. These return quickly in the wedge but increase our rotation speed.
  • Feeding levels this past week mirrored the previous week,
    • Late dry cows PKE offered on 4 days at 2kg/cow/day and 4kg silage, plus 6kg grass.
    • Springers 4kg silage, plus 6kg grass
    • Calved cows 2.5kgPKE/cow/day, 2kg of silage plus 15kg of grass.
  • BCS by the vet this week confirmed our average herd BCS of 5.3, most importantly only 5% of cows were not currently at-or-above calving target in the later calving mob still gaining weight. The average of the milking mob is currently 5.04 (includes R2 and R3yr animals who calved at or above BCS 5.5)
  • N continues to follow the cows, and we now have soil temps climbing back over 10 degrees, so Pro-gibb will begin as and where possible

Monday, 14 May 2018

Week ending farm notes 14-05-18


  • Cover has increased this week to 2362kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 46kgDM/ha/day.
  • Cows have grazed 2.7ha/day, this is equivalent to a 55 day round of the whole farm and includes some new grass being grazed off as we nipped through annuals at 2,500 pre-graze but used a “larger than target” area/day within the week. There is more of this to be done in the coming week.  However it means we are eating less of the top of the wedge and so long covers are climbing very well.  We also have some annuals at the run-off to eat, these will be nipped off and shown as “off farm grazing” in all reporting for the farm.
  • The 220 April dries have been on a diet of 8kg of grass (increased due to longer than expected pre-grazing) and 4kg of silage and sorghum plus PKE at 3kg/cow (reduced to maintain residual. The 85 heifers have been on a diet of 7kg grass and 1kg of grass silage.  The 120 last milkers were dried off and are on a diet of 7 grass and 2kg silage whilst they finish the shutdown period.
  • Prolonged warm-ish soil temperatures and very sunny days have seen a perpetuation of spore count in risk levels at 25,000 so cows remain on water dosing. Nitrate levels are very high in early morning, so a belly full of perm pasture and silage is offered to any mob before a small break of new grass/annuals in early afternoon.
  • Heifers were teat sealed today, and with that the cowshed is out-of-action while the old yard is demolished. Our new effluent pond is progressing well, with the groundwork partially complete and liner onsite ready to go.
  • With M. Bovis notification in the area biosecurity protocols have escalated.  Foreign vehicles are to be parked at office and not enter farm, on top of boot wash.  First test is the tree-fell-contractors recovering a large fallen tree.  Their vehicle will be washed to waste before entering farm and contractors disinfected.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Week ending farm notes 07-05-18


    • Cover has increased this week to 2244kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 55kgDM/ha/day. The remaining 4 paddocks of new grass are now in round, meaning we return to our full platform in grass now a total of 147.6ha (slightly less than we had at the beginning of the year with the .8ha retired for the effluent pond). Excluding these last paddocks from the equation - our cover compared to last week would be 2289kgDM/ha.
    • Cows have grazed 3.1ha/day, this is equivalent to a 48 day round of the whole farm or 46 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (140.7 ha). The return of our 85 in-calf R2 heifers on May 1st has increased our area/day while we still have a milking herd of 125 cows. 
    • Milkers have produced an average of .97kgMS/cow, 2.5kgPKE (2.2kgDM), 4.5kg grass silage and 12.0kg grass offered during the week. Residuals have remained around 1650kgDM/ha.  Dry cows and heifers have been cleaning up behind milkers where necessary to get residuals down to 1500kgDM/ha
    • All 220 dries are now be on a diet of 7.5kg of grass and 4.5kg of silage and sorghum plus PKE at 4kg/cow. The 85 heifers returned have been on a diet of 8kg grass and as of Sunday 1kg of grass silage started prior to grazing annuals/new grass to mitigate nitrate risks.
    • Prolonged warm-ish soil temperatures and very sunny days has allowed good growth to continue and pro-gibb has been used where possible behind the cows to bolster growth.

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Contact Details:

  • Louise Cook
  • Demonstration Manager
  • Owl Farm
  •  +64 7 827 9817
  •  +64 27 808 5777

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