Monday, 16 April 2018


Week ending 16/04/18 farm notes

 

 

  • Cover has decreased slightly this week to 2142kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 34kgDM/ha/day. Also, with several paddocks undersown last week cover has dropped approximately 200kg/ha on 6ha.
  • Cows have grazed 3.43ha/day, this is equivalent to a 43 day round of the whole farm or 37 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (127 ha). The rotation increased a little as 2 paddocks of new grass were nipped off – large area eaten but to a lax residual.  We remain with 127ha in the grazing round for the coming week.
    Please note the cows in milk figure has lifted retrospectively including last week.  An error was made one tally of culls, and there are an extra 5 cows still in the milking mob. The figures in the table above are now correct for both weeks,
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.06kgMS/cow, climbing slightly through the week with a diet of 3.3kgPKE (3.0kgDM), 5kg grass silage and 11.5kg grass offered during the week. All milker residuals are consistently at or above 1550kgDM/ha this week with the increased silage used to lift residual with eczema risk.
  • Nitrogen has been applied to 38% of the farm at 126kg Phased N (30kgN)/ha. This has followed the cows, and hit several mid-wedge paddocks that looked hungry.  We will continue to follow the herd.
  • 1 mastitis case has occurred in the 82 cows dried off last week. These cows have now increased to 7.5kg of grass and 4.5kg of silage and sorghum. They will begin PKE at 4kg/cow this week. 
  • Eczema spore counts last week showed a 100K spike, but the individual paddock testing the next day saw lower numbers. We believe the hotspot was in one of the three paddocks grazed from the first sample and not re-tested. These potential hot spot paddocks were grazed to 1750kgDM/ha residuals for safety.

Monday, 9 April 2018


April 9

  • Cover has increased this week to 2160kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 40kgDM/ha/day. The slowing of the rotation has allowed pre-grazing covers to increase substantially which will further slow our round in the coming week.  A helpful occurrence as we watch our soil temperature fall and with a cold snap approaching.
  • Cows have grazed 3.37ha/day, this is equivalent to a 44 day round of the whole farm or 38 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (127 ha). All remaining new grass paddocks are at least 2 inches of growth out of the ground and will return to the grazing round within 3-4 weeks.
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.15kgMS/cow, with a diet of 3.3kgPKE (3.0kgDM), 4kg grass silage and 11.5kg grass offered during the week. Priority feeding remains to the at-risk cows based on BCS – and residuals are consistently at or around 1550kgDM/ha.  The non-priority mob have finally finished their travels through the poorer quality paddocks still affected by summer grass post silage, with some residuals in the area dropping as low as 1450kgDM/ha.
  • Nitrogen will begin following the cows in the coming week at a rate of 130kg/ha Phased N (30kgN/ha + S)
  • 82 cows were dried off this week based on BCS, their dry off diet is 6kg grass + 4 kg of low quality baleage for 7 days. Another 40 empty cull cows left during the week.
  • Eczema spore counts and faecal samples last week showed grass sample at 60,000 in the scruffiest paddock on farm, but there are signs that spores are becoming less active and dying with the temperature change.

Monday, 2 April 2018


April 2

  • Cover has increased this week to 2113kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 45kgDM/ha/day. Growth, cover and swards look significantly better again than they were a week ago with the range we had 10 days ago and a few dribbles during the week.
  • Cows have grazed 3.36ha/day, this is equivalent to a 44 day round of the whole farm or 36 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (123 ha). 2 new grass paddocks have now rejoined the round, taking us back to 127ha in rotation for the coming week.  Plus a reduction in numbers of 32 culls has seen the rotation slow but per-cow feed levels increase.  We will likely offer a 40 day round for the coming week as 90 cows dry off, and 20 more are culled.
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.14kgMS/cow, with a diet of 4kgPKE (3.6kgDM), 5kg grass silage and 9kg grass offered during the week. The coming week will see milkers offered 11kg grass, 3kg PKE (2.7kgDM) and 4kg silage from Thursday once cows are dried off and another 20 culls go.
  • Priority feeding remains to the at-risk cows based on BCS, and they have visibly moved in BCS since drafting 3 weeks ago. This benefit has adjusted our dry off dates slightly, with approximately 90 to dry off Thursday and 120 to milk until closer to Anzac day provided their steady gain improves.
  • Eczema spore counts and faecal samples last week showed grass sample at 40,000 but the faecal count suggest cows are still eating fewer spores than that. As we look to dry cows off and lower the residual we are sampling these paddocks individually today.

 

 

Monday, 26 March 2018


March 26

 

·        Cover has dropped slightly this week to 2044kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 34kgDM/ha/day.   The range in growth of paddocks is a  meagre 8kg/day up to a maximum of 62kg/day.  25mm of rain over the weekend was incredibly welcome and the average growth seen for the week has increased since Saturday, with pastures looking much healthier than they did a week ago.

·        Cows have grazed 4ha/day, this is equivalent to a 37 day round of the whole farm or 32 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (127 ha).  3 paddocks have now been sprayed out to sow into annuals ahead of next year’s Summer Turnips another 5.2ha out of rotation, but the first paddock of regrassing is back in.  The net result is that we have 123ha in the grass rotation for the coming week.

·        Milkers have produced an average of 1.15kgMS/cow, with a diet of 4kgPKE (3.6kgDM), 4kg grass silage and 9.5 kg grass offered during the week.  With slow growth and a few pre-grazings below anticipated levels, pasture allocation to cows decreased below anticipated levels.   32 culls go today and their total daily allocation - 32 cows x 17.1kgDM/cow = 547kgDM freed up to distribute to remaining cows on hand (380), or an extra 1.4kgDM/day to every cow left on the farm.  A further 20 cows will be removed ASAP based on available works space, which will offer further feed allowance benefits.

·        Priority feeding remains to the at-risk cows based on BCS, and approximately 60 will be dried off in one week’s tome after the last herd test.  Followed by another 80 10 days later and another 80 around ANZAC day.

·        Eczema spore counts remain at 25,000.  We continue to monitor at this stage and will conduct another round of Faecal zinc levels and faecal spore counts ASAP.

 

 

Monday, 26 February 2018


Week ending farm notes

 

Key figures for week ending

26/02/2018

19/02/2018

Cows in milk

410

411

Ave. KgMS/cow/day

1.11

1.12

kgMS/ha/day

3.02

3.08

Ave. Pasture cover (kgDM/ha)

2107

2651

Ave. Growth rates (kgDM/ha/day)

53

59

Round length (whole farm/grazing area)

33 / 23

35 / 26

Soil temperature (ave. oC  @10cm depth)

19.96

21.54

KgDM Pasture offered Dry/milkers

 / M-13.5

/ M-13.5

Kg silage/hay fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

Kg PKE fed - ave all cows

0.6

0.1

kg Maize fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

kg Crop fed - ave all cows

5.5

5.0

Ave. Supplement used (kgDM/cow/day)

6.1

5.1

SCC

208

207

  • Cover has decreased this week after silage was harvested to 2107kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 53kgDM/ha/day.
  • Cows have grazed 4.5ha/day, this is equivalent to a 33 day round of the whole farm or 23 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (103 ha).
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.11kgMS/cow climbing towards the end of the week with cooler weather, and shorter pre-grazing covers.
  • Offering 13.5kg of better quality grass, has however, continued to see residuals above target. Topping used where necessary is still being used to ensure quality behind cows and try to promote better intake and production.
  • We intend to settle on a 28 day round of the grazing area over the next month with pasture demand of around 15kg/cow (+ 2kg supplement). Based on this we need a target pre-graze of approximately 2,800kgDM/ha.  With the silage harvest complete, the wedge forecasts a current surplus and looming deficit for that target pre-graze.  However we are likely to be closer to a 40 day round with smaller areas allocated to eat the longer covers still on hand for the greater part of this week.  This should provide sufficient breathing space for the wedge to catch up somewhat.
  • Cows have one more day of crop, and for the last 3 days (Mon-Tue-Wed) are being transitioned down slowly with 14kg of grass, 2kg of PKE and 3kg of crop. We will continue to offer 2kg of PKE once we finish the crop to support a rapid increase in pasture demand while we assess the rate of regrowth of the silage. 
  • Weather appears to be cooling, and we are wary of growth slowing, but do not want to drive pasture cover up quickly. We have sufficient supplement resources to allow 6kg/cow of supplement until the end of season should growth return to normal or below normal levels.
  • Regrassing activities are underway, with new grass already in behind turnips (5.9ha), by middle of next week the balance of the crop area will be sown (5.5ha), and in 2-3weeks some runout 1-yr grasses will be sprayed out for permanent pasture (8ha). In early April (depending on paddock performance) we are likely to spray out and sow 6.9ha into annuals ahead of next year’s brassica crop.
  • Spore counts returned a result of 25,000 last Friday and monitoring continues.

Monday, 19 February 2018


Week ending farm notes

 

Key figures for week ending

19/02/2018

12/02/2018

Cows in milk

411

412

Ave. KgMS/cow/day

1.12

1.16

kgMS/ha/day

3.08

3.18

Ave. Pasture cover (kgDM/ha)

2651

2494

Ave. Growth rates (kgDM/ha/day)

59

52

Round length (whole farm/grazing area)

33 / 24

40 / 30

Soil temperature (ave. oC  @10cm depth)

21.54

21.56

KgDM Pasture offered Dry/milkers

/ M-13.5

/ M-13

Kg silage/hay fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

Kg PKE fed - ave all cows

0.1

0.1

kg Maize fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

kg Crop fed - ave all cows

5.0

5.5

Ave. Supplement used (kgDM/cow/day)

5.1

5.6

SCC

207

191

  • Cover has increased this week at 2651kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 59kgDM/ha/day. 55.8mm of rain received within the week has driven growth significantly in front of us.
  • Cows have grazed 4.54ha/day this is equivalent to a 33 day round of the whole farm or 24 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (110 ha).
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.12kgMS/cow dropping sharply over the hottest week we have had so far this year, and possibly the most humid.
  • Offering 13.5kg of better quality grass, has largely seen residuals increase. Cows are not grazing into clumps at all unless sent back.  Topping is being used to ensure quality behind cows and try promote better intake and production.
  • The feed wedge surplus continues and with silage booked to cut Friday we’ve aggressively added another 11ha to the “cut now” area – a total of 38 ha to enter the stack. Two other paddocks are noted to potentially skip this week for small amounts of silage in the coming weeks if necessary.
  • Cows are actively working through the last paddocks of crop, and there is a large amount of Forage rape stem that is too hard to eat and being left behind.
  • Spore counts returned a result of 0 last Friday and monitoring continues.

Monday, 12 February 2018


Week ending farm notes

February 12

·        Cover has held this week at 2494kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 52kgDM/ha/day. 62.6mm of rain received within the week (and another 42mm since midnight in the new week’s data already).

·        Cows have grazed 3.7ha/day this is equivalent to a 40 day round of the whole farm or 30 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (110 ha). 

·        Milkers have produced an average of 1.16kgMS/cow, Tom’s work to keep cows on as much grass as possible, has sped the rotation up slightly, reduced pre-grazing covers and improved the overall quality of the diet being eaten.

·        Offering 13kg of grass, has largely been managed to residual, and where necessary have topped behind or ahead to ensure high quality next round.

·        The feed wedge surplus continues and this week another 2 paddocks have been excluded but are likely to be baled in a 2nd wave of silage in 3 weeks time – a total of 29ha out for silage. The 6.6ha of sorghum is ready to cut again and a break in the weather will see around 70T of silages harvested around the farm and safe for winter.

·        Cows are now starting the last paddocks of crop but we still have 20 days of feed in front of us.  The first crop paddocks eaten are being sprayed out for weeds, and will be regrassed as soon as seed arrives on farm.

·        Spore counts returned a result between 0 and 40,000 on Friday with faecal counts lower indicating half that rate.  Cows are not eating below 1500, and are not eating spore rich grass. Zinc continues in the Dosatron, but boluses are still a very real possibility.

 

 

 

Monday, 5 February 2018


Week ending farm notes

February 2018

·        Cover has increased this week to 2494kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 46kgDM/ha/day.  With 39mm of rain received in the week

·       Cows have grazed 3.3ha/day this is equivalent to a 44 day round of the whole farm or 35 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing  round for the last week (115 ha). 

·       Milkers have produced an average of 1.13kgMS/cow, having now curved around a low point and settling around the 1.14kgMS/cow/day.

·       Offering 13kg of grass, has again seen cows leaving above target residual, with un-grazed leaf still evident.  Residuals have ranged between 1525kgDM/ha and 1750kgDM/ha.  This grass left behind offsets some of the discrepancy between supply/demand and change in cover.  THe surplus grass is at the bottom of the wedge in an untidy residual.

·       The feed wedge surplus continues and this week a further 3 paddocks have been excluded now – a total of 27ha out for silage. We are actively working to keep cow’s pre-grazing covers in leafy pasture of no more than 3,000kgDM/ha, but struggling to speed up the round as we would wish to.  As we approach the silage cutting date we may look to throw other paddocks out for silage too – right now we have approximately 20% of the grass area out of round.  This pushes our demand on the remaining 110ha grass platform 49kgDM/day and we should be in balance on this area moving forward.

·       Spore counts returned a result between 0 and 40,000 on Friday and between 0-25,000 today. Zinc continues in the Dosatron, but with increasing counts boluses are still a very real possibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 29 January 2018


Week ending farm notes:

Key figures for week ending

29/01/2018

22/01/2018

Cows in milk

412

412

Ave. KgMS/cow/day

1.19

1.31

kgMS/ha/day

3.26

3.64

Ave. Pasture cover (kgDM/ha)

2472

2390

Ave. Growth rates (kgDM/ha/day)

50

50

Round length (whole farm/grazing area)

41 / 34

50 / 47

Soil temperature (ave. oC  @10cm depth)

23.37

22.01

KgDM Pasture offered Dry/milkers

/ M-13

/ M-12

Kg silage/hay fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

Kg PKE fed - ave all cows

0.0

1.5

kg Maize fed - ave all cows

0.0

0.0

kg Crop fed - ave all cows

5.0

5.1

Ave. Supplement used (kgDM/cow/day)

5.0

6.6

SCC

193

160

 

  • Cover has increased this week to 2470kgDM/ha with the whole farm growing 50kgDM/ha/day.
  • Cows have grazed 3.6ha/day this is equivalent to a 41 day round of the whole farm or 34 day round of the paddocks held in the grazing round for the last week (124 ha).
  • Milkers have produced an average of 1.19kgMS/cow, in a significant and prolonged downward slide in the very intense heat.
  • Offering 13kg of grass, has seen cows leaving above target residual, with un-grazed leaf still evident. Heat is the biggest factor in reduced intake and production.  We have mowed ahead of the cows through a number of paddocks to keep residuals under control and try to make grazing easier.  Some mowed grass has also been left behind in most paddocks.
  • Last week’s cow with eczema signs is now suspected Brassica scald. Another appeared yesterday.  The herd has been actively snacking on not-quite-mature Rape leaf from the race as they pass in the last 10 days very noticeably.  We think this is a contributor, but we are taking precautions anyway.
  • Being our best quality feed we are going to try and increase the allocation of turnips to bolster intakes, but want to protect against scald issues. We are now breaking the day’s crop into two allocations.  They have 1/3rd of their crop for an hour, and eat its leaf and a chunk of the bulbs before being allowed access to the rest of their daily crop.  The alternative was to look at on-off grazing the crop in two feeds, with grass in between.  However the time spent on races in shifting would be a nasty task for staff and cows alike.
  • The feed wedge demonstrates a very large sizeable surplus now, with the highest cover we have seen this year. We are actively working to keep cow’s pre-grazing covers in leafy pasture of no more than 3,000kgDM/ha. 
  • To achieve this we are excluding an additional 9ha of the long feed from our grazing round – meaning a total of 22ha of silage shut up. This will be baled in approximately 2 weeks time. Again if growth slows, we can eat this – and we have significant other feed reserves available so we are confident we will be able to feed the herd.  With an inch of rain in the last 7 days and a storm front coming, we can maintain the current pre-grazing with growth of 46kg/day on the remnant grazing area.
  • Turnip crops weights returned at 13TDM/ha for the 2nd wave of Barkant and a monster 16TDM/ha in the clean crop bulb turnips. The last of the early Barkant is being grazed tomorrow, by one herd.
  • Spore counts returned a 10,000 count today. Zinc continues in the Dosatron.







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Contact Details:

  • Louise Cook
  • Demonstration Manager
  • Owl Farm
  •  +64 7 827 9817
  •  +64 27 808 5777
  •  enquiries@owlfarm.nz

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