It hasn’t been long since the last update but we have just had a farm consultant visit so we thought we would make this available. Calving was slow to start with but is going well – only just over 100 to calve in the spring so we are feeling very relaxed, most of the time.
On the Farm
There are 345 cows on farm grazing 1.5 ha/day = 50-day round.
- 270 milkers are grazing 1.5 ha (paddock/day), plus each cow is getting 6 kg meal, ½ litre molasses (mixed with water), 5 kg DM maize silage and 1 wrapped bale at night.
- 17 colostrum/sick cows, 58 springers, and 3 bulls are also on farm.
Production to date is 28,190 kg MS (compared with 19,333 kg MS at the same time last year). Current production is 6 – 6.1 kg MS/ha/day and 1.6 – 1.7 kg MS/cow/day. The milkers’ cow condition is 5+.
General multi minerals are going through the water and triple mix is going on the maize silage for the milkers – but causmag has dropped back to 35 g/cow/day and this seems to be working better. The colostrum cows are getting a good dose of magnesium and calcium after calving.
AI started for the cows on 13th June and finished on 13th July and then the bulls went in. Most cows were mated to AI, and all but one look like they have been mated in total.
The heifers were all CIDR’ed and then mated on 5th June, followed by bulls being put in.
The bulls will come out of the heifers and the cows around the 20th August.
The average pasture cover is 2,297 kg DM/ha. The pasture cover targets for the next two months are 1,950 – 2,000 kg DM/ha in late August, and 2,100 – 2,200 kg DM/ha in late September.
PhaSed N was applied to the last three paddocks in early July. Then the early paddocks that were given this fertiliser too light were topped up in late July.
Urea (SustaiN) was applied over the first two full grazing rounds (starting the week before last), we will follow the cows with an application of nitrogen over paddocks that do not get effluent over this time.
The 1.5 ha/day through the winter has done a really nice job of protecting the pasture cover, we will hold this round through until late August – early September when it will open up to 1½ paddocks/day.
We aim to leave 1,300 – 1,500 kg DM/ha residuals behind the milkers through the next 6 – 8 weeks. As spring growth really takes off in September, we would like to see these residuals lift towards 1,500 – 1,700 kg DM/ha where they will hold through the spring. If/when residuals start to go above this level in spring, surplus paddocks will be dropped out for silage.
The dry cows will be used as needed to help clean up behind the milkers over the next two months, with the aim to leave around 1,200 – 1,300 kg DM/ha after this group, whether they are following the milkers or grazing on their own allocated grazing area.
We have been talking about going to all autumn calving but now are thinking of have a smaller spring calving. What spring mating will look like is still in discussion, but we are considering a PG programme on the cycling cows so that everything that was cycling has 1 shot of getting in calf – over a 10 – 20-day period.
Eight paddocks to go into chicory this year. These paddocks will be sprayed out just before, or after, grazing through September so they can be sown into 10 kg/ha of Choice chicory by late September.
Five paddocks to go into turnips this year. These paddocks will be sprayed out in early October so they can be sown in turnips by the 20th October for the early paddocks, and no later than 10th November for the late paddocks.
Twenty-four ha of maize has been penciled in again for this season. These paddocks are going to be sprayed out before the silage is cut, so they can be sown in October.
There are 20 dry cows, 1 beef cow, 4 beef autumn 2020 steers, 47 autumn 2020 heifers, 90 spring 2020 heifers and 61 autumn 2021 calves on the run off.
The PhaSed N was finished on 15th July, and a round of SustaiN has started now at 85 kg/ha that will continue over the next 6 weeks.
There is still around 70 – 80 t DM of maize left on the runoff. This will be closed up over the next week or so.
There is one paddock that hasn’t been grazed so this will either be made into some early bales, or grazed off and other paddocks will be shut for silage instead, depending on the upcoming weather.