Feed Budgets

Feed budgets are a critical tool for managing the 1,944 t DM (dry matter) of pasture and crop eaten annually at Owl Farm. They are also used to ensure we maximise the response rate to the 368 t DM of imported supplements used strategically.

Owl Farm uses Farmax to create an annual detailed feed budget which we update with actual data every month. This budget is done in conjunction with the farm financial budget.

An autumn feed budget is used to ensure we meet Average Pasture Cover (APC) targets of 2400 kg DM/ha on the 1st June, and Body Condition Score (BCS) targets of 5 for mixed aged cows and 5.5 for heifers and second-calvers. This works in conjunction with the DairyNZ BCS dry off calculator

We use a feed budget from the Planned Start of Calving (PSC) to Balance Date (when grass growth equals feed demand) and then use the Spring Rotation Planner (SRP) to allocate area alongside this.

Example of output from Farmax feed budget