Ella and Mitch got hitched! The last few months have been leading up to our eldest son, Mitchel, getting married to his beautiful wife. We had a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family, heaps of talking and laughter – great speeches and amazing food, and to top it off the rain held off for most of the day! This day was a fabulous reminder of the wonderful blessings in our life. Mr. and Mrs. Frostie scrubbed up ok as well – some wanted to take a photo of Frostie just to prove he could get dressed up and wear something other than shorts and jandals!
On the farm
Unfortunately, the water lying around our area shows how vulnerable we will be to the wet weather over the next few months with the water table still very high. Managing the wet conditions is going to play a major role in the success of this season.
Currently we have 227 milkers on farm on a 100 – 110 day round. 194 milkers are grazing 0.6 ha pasture, 7 – 8 kg/cow meal, ½ – 1 kg/cow molasses, 6.5 kg DM/cow of maize silage and 0.7 kg DM/cow of grass silage per day. 33 springing heifers are grazing 0.06 ha pasture, ¼ bale of silage and some maize per day. The production to date is 9,130 kg MS, compared with 5,498 kg MS at the same time last year, with current production 2.7 – 2.8 kg MS/ha/day and 1.1 – 1.2 kg MS/cow/day. The BCS is 5+.
The average pasture cover is 2,162 kg DM/ha. The pasture cover targets for the next 8 weeks are 2,000 – 2,100 kg DM/ha in late July and 1,900 – 2,000 kg DM/ha in late August.
5.2 tonne of PhaSedN was applied in May at 120 – 130 kg/ha. 0.9 t on 26th May, 0.9 t on 3rd June and 2.3 t on 30th June. Now that the last round of PhaSedN has finished, we will keep following behind the cows with SustaiN at 85 – 90 kg/ha through July and August.
Winter mating started on 25th May and finished on 6th July. 53 cows have been mated once and there were 20 returns (including 5 short returns).
The early calving for the heifers worked well and will continue again next year – so spring mating will start around 25th August.
Below is our season review table. We have compared the last three seasons along with the 2011 / 2012 season, which is often regarded as the Waikato’s best growing season over the last 10 years or so.
|Total MS (kg)||162,300||168,606||169,813||167,426|
|Feed conversion efficiency||11.4||11.5||11.6||11.6|
|6 week in-calf rate (%)||81||67||73||63|
|MS to 31st Dec (kg)||88,820||93,457||98,539||98,926|
These results show a rarity for this season – a nice lift in pasture and crop eaten – which considering the flooding and difficulty over the last 4 months is an excellent result. This also probably reflects what we suspected, that the previous two years were very disappointing, with the pasture persistence and growth that was discovered in time to make things right before last season.