Tuesday, 16 July 2019


15-7-19 data table 15-7-19 wedgeWeek ending farm notes

  • Nearly halfway through calving already!! 206 cows have calved to date. We started sending milk to the factory on Thursday. All colostrum milk is being used to feed our growing mob of calves, including 60 replacement heifers.
  • We are using 85m2/cow/day allocation for the milking mob currently, based on going into 3850 kg DM/ha, grazing down to 1850 kg DM/ha. This is allocating 17 kg DM grass/cow/day and preventing them from having to eat to the base of the sward.
  • Dry cows are following immediately behind the milking mob to reset the residual at 1450 kg DM/ha to promote good quality feed for the milkers in the next round. We plan to continue doing this for the next 10 days.
  • Milk production at 1.3 kg MS/cow/day is lower than last year given current BCS and feeding levels. We are sending off pasture samples to analyse the quality of the winter saved pasture currently being fed to the milking mob as well as the silage. It is early in the season and we are not too concerned.
  • Cell count was initially 299,000 which is higher than this time last year. Each colostrum cow is paddle checked before entering the herd but we decided to strip the whole herd on Saturday morning and identified two cows that were then treated for mastitis.
  • Colostrum cows are receiving 100g Limeflour/cow/day mixed with 3 kg PKE/cow/day fed via a trough in the paddock.
  • The herd are now receiving full rate MgCl in the dosatron system and all paddocks that are due to be grazed by mobs (approximately 60 ha) have been sprayed with Mg Sulphate.
  • Springers receive sorghum silage and hay to reduce total energy of the diet. High fibre supplement helps keep cows full for longer, keeps them warm and seems to help us avoid issues with udder oedema.
  • Despite a wet week we are still seeing good growth rates averaging 21 kg DM/ha/day over the farm with a slight drop in cover to 2525 kg DM/ha.
  • With a fast, early calving we are expecting to have a feed gap in the first week of August for the milking mob that we intend to fill with grass silage. We can already see evidence of this in the feed wedge.
  • Planning to apply Sustain next week (weather permitting) to paddocks that have been grazed in July that had high pre-grazing covers.
  • Rotation length is tracking bang on target at 83 days as per our SRP.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Springer mob: 5 kg DM grass + 4 kg DM supplement
    • IC heifers + early beef semen: 7 kg DM grass + 2 kg DM hay
    • Late calvers: 9 kg DM grass
    • Milkers: 17 kg DM grass
  • Feeding levels week ahead:
    • No planned changes to any mobs
  • The team had their rostered weekend off - one on Friday and Saturday and the other takes Sunday and Monday. Tom is due off next weekend so the focus in the coming days is on managing residuals and decision-making during the wet for the team.
  • If rain is predicted the springer mob will have a small break set up ready to be fed first thing in the morning prior to milking to prevent pasture damage, with the remainder of the break given after milking. This provides feed for freshly calved cows and is within the designated area allocation for the mob. This week it has been done more than half the week.
  • The first mob of calves that is older than 1 week has now been put onto OAD feeding. This saves time in the afternoons.

Monday, 8 July 2019


8-7-19 data table9-7-19 feed wedgeWeek ending farm notes 8-7-19

 

Monday, 1 July 2019


Week ending farm notes 01 July 2019

 

  • Cover at 2558 kg DM/ha is declining after our second week of soil temperatures recorded below 10C. Growth rates have averaged 16 kg DM/ha/day.
  • Pasture growth has fallen below daily demand, but unseasonably high covers remain a challenge.
  • We have lightly grazed the highest cover paddocks (9ha) over the last week to reduce the cover in these by approx. 400kg DM/ha each.
  • We have sped up the round a little in the last week by re-drafting the herds and feeding based on calving date, and have lifted our residuals target to 1500kg DM/ha.

Monday, 24 June 2019


Data table 24-6-19

Feed wedge 24-6-19

Week ending 24-6-19 farm notes

Monday, 17 June 2019


Week ending farm notes 17/06/2019

 

Monday, 10 June 2019


Week ending farm notes 10-06-2019

 

 

  • Critical Feed and management decisions this week:
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 17kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 14kg grass (including run off grass for 3 days)
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 9kg grass
    • IC Heifers – 8kg grass
  • Feeding levels week ahead:
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 16kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 14kg grass
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 9kg grass
    • IC Heifers – 8kg grass

 

Monday, 20 May 2019


Week ending farm notes 21 May 2019

 

  • Cover has had another big lift this week with growth of the farm averaging 43kg/day and cover now at 2382kgDM/ha across the farm and all new grass paddocks back and lined up in the wedge.
  • The herd BCS today shows an average BCS of 5.1 in MA cows, with our in-calf heifers averaging 5.8 and an overall herd average of 5.23.
  • Cows tracking to BCS target show 22% of herd is not yet at target BCS. But 78% of herd are already at or above target BCS.  Of those not yet at target, only 4.5% of the herd or 19 cows are at risk of missing target without special attention. On Thursday they will move to become the mini mob of ad-lib grass.

It is likely the mini-mob will run 36 hours ahead of the fat mob and dent their grass covers, and the fats to follow with little or no supplement.

We are re-drafting herd this week to focus on, 19 cows with significant weight gain or very little time, 163 cows with small target weight gain and 156 cows on lock down to stall or remove weight and cease further gain.

  • Hard work has positioned us where we need to be. It is vital to have a plan of how your cover, cows and supplements will be set up for a high profit spring.
  • Critical Feed and management decisions this week:
    • We still have a surplus over demand of a considerable amount between now and the end of the month, and with closing cover in reach we are going to use some of the excess growth to run for rapid weight gain on grass, and remove nearly all of the supplements from the herd.
    • The nitrate risk with overcast weather has been too great so all cows are getting silage to ensure no nitrate risk. The herd has had no PKE this week.
    • With majority of the new grass paddocks nipped off, there is an ability to shut the fat mob down and control their intakes and focus on the remaining cows.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 16kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 13kg grass + 2kg silage
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 10kg grass + 2kg silage.
    • IC Heifers – 8kg grass + 2kg silage
  • Feeding levels week ahead:
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 16kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 14kg grass + 2kg supps
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 9kg grass
    • IC Heifers – 8kg grass + 1kg supps

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


Week ending farm notes 14-05-19

  • Zoom! Cover has had another big lift this week with growth of the farm averaging 47kg/day and cover now at 2326kgDM/ha across the farm and all new grass paddocks back and lined up in the wedge.
    Video of dry cow condition in 2 parts here:
    https://youtu.be/andzq_X7HT8
    And 2nd view of the group and some more animals here https://youtu.be/UZT1QLfZWzc
  • Hard work has positioned us where we need to be. It is vital to have a plan of how your cover, cows and supplements will be set up for a high profit spring.
  • Critical Feed and management decisions this week:
    • We have a surplus over demand of a considerable amount between now and the end of the month, and with closing cover in reach we are going to use some of the excess growth to run for rapid weight gain on grass, and remove nearly all of the supplements from the herd.
    • Tactically we need to be extra careful as most of the paddocks to graze at the moment are new grasses, still high in nitrate. Careful planning around grazing times, pre-filling bellies on safe pasture is required to ensure we don’t risk nitrate poisoning in the herd.
    • Our slow creep across a silage face and wastage means we are better for now to close up the stack and set that safely aside for later.
  • Feeding levels past week:
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 16kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 10kg grass + 4kg PKE
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 9kg grass + 3kg silage.
    • IC Heifers – 6kg grass + 4kg silage
  • Feeding levels week ahead: (will take 5 days to clean off the face of the silage stack then…)
    • Mini-mob of cows needing most weight gain – 16kg grass.
    • Earliest calvers and most weight gain required – 14kg grass + 1kg PKE
    • Later calvers and low weight gain needed – 12kg grass
    • IC Heifers – 10kg grass
  • Zinc treatment in the dosatron has ceased with spore counts now routinely at less than 10k.

Pics show supply versus demand budget and new scenarios that we are making decsions from.

 

Tuesday, 7 May 2019


Week ending farm notes 06-05-2019

  • Zoom! Cover has jumped up again this week to 2254kgDM/ha and growth of 39kg/day, coupled with a very slow round of over 120days.
    We’ve had a bold tactical review of our plan for May and will be adjusting a few things as noted below.
    Hard work has has positioned us where we need to be. It is vital to have a plan of how your cover, cows and supplements will be set up for a high profit spring.

  • Critical Feed and management decisions this week:
    • We need to increase cover by a minimum of 100kg/ha over the month of May. This means managing demand to be at least 5kg/ha/day lower than growth.

With average May growth of 25kg/ha/day we would need to hold demand to 20kg/ha/day, or 7kg/cow.

We are currently growing well above this, and will use the next 10 days to attack and manage our new grasses while the good soil conditions continue.

  • We must increase herd BCS still, despite being well on track and ahead of last year towards target, so the light cows are being offered 14kg feed and the fat mob 10kgs.
  • Nitrates in Annual grasses AND Perennial new grasses have been very high and must be managed carefully.
  • We must restrict silage use as we have had to use some of our Winter reserves to get through the season so far.
  • New grasses need careful management to graze quickly to promote tillering and the remaining autumn fert needs to go on.
  • Heifers have all trained through the shed over the last week, and are ready for Teat sealing this week.
  • 10 day feed and management plan:
    • Due to great growth and good cover we will speed up our round to closer to 85days (from 126 days this week). Due to very limited supplements we will reduce supplement levels to maximise silage carried over into winter.
    • Get all new grasses and annuals grazed as priority, managing nitrates and avoiding grazing until Nitrate test levels have dropped, Anywhere from 11m to 3pm over the last week until the leves were safe depending on when the sun came out.
    • All herds will be on a silage, established pasture and new grass combo diet to ensure new grasses are nipped off to a minimum residual of 1500kgDM/ha.
      Herds will get established pasture and silage for breakfast and New grass/annuals for an afternoon snack.
    • Apply fert to anything that hasn’t had Autumn PhasedN after grazing, or anything more than 10 days away from grazing. 
  • Feeding regimes this past week have been:
    Recently Dried off cows are on 5kg grass and 4kg silage (PKE starts soon)
    Already Dry cows are on 3.5kg silage and 6kg grass and 4.5kg PKE.
    Heifers home had 6kg grass and 2kg silage.
  • Cows remain at full rate zinc in dosatron, Spore counts last week were between 0 and 10K after heavy rain washed the grass clean. We are hopeful the cooler temps will stop further significant growth and we can avoid boluses.

Monday, 29 April 2019


Week ending farm notes 29-04-19

  • Cover has bounced up quite nicely again this week to 2154kgDM/ha and growth of 31kg/day, with solid growth happening farm wide. The brown is gone! And the summer grass gaps are filling nicely.  More rain in the pipeline will see us keep growing along satisfactorily and very slow round will lift cover.
  • All cows are now dried off and the final stats will see us bang on 1150kgMS/ha and 417kgMS/cow. An increase in total production of around 1200kgMS off 1 less milkable hectare and from 12 fewer cows and the same bought in feed, but with over 1TDM grass less grown on the platform.
  • Critical Feed and management decisions this week:
    • Growth has improved this week with more rain. We have grazed 2ha per day, which is a 75 day rotation of the whole farm or 71 days of the grassed area (including most new grass paddocks) or 66 days of the paddocks currently able to be grazed after a few mid-wedge ugly paddocks were eaten so they can get fert, plus some of the undersown paddocks getting a kind residual applied. 
    • We now have 15ha of regrassing remaining out of the grazing round for another week-10 days. Until then we have an effective platform of 132ha giving us a current grass stocking rate of 336/127 of 2.54 cows/ha heifers arrive home tomorrow, giving us 427 animals on 127ha = 3.36cows/ha and the heifer arrival will mean we won’t slow the round any further despite drying the last cows off.
  • Feeding regimes this past week have been:
    Milking Cows, Ave:3.kg PKE offered (3.3kgDM PKE), plus 3kg silage, plus 7kg grass.
    Dried off this week cows are on 4kg grass and 5kg silage (PKE starts soon)
    Already Dry cows are on 5kg silage and 4kg grass and 4kg PKE.
  • Cows remain at full rate zinc in dosatron, Spore counts last week were between 0 and 10K after heavy rain washed the grass clean. We are hopeful the cooler temps will stop further significant growth and we can avoid boluses.

Pictures show top of wedge, the cows dried off yesterday in the sun and wedge.








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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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