Heart attacks, positive pay-outs, rain, proactivity, and time off – Lisa Groen

Nothing beats writing a blog while it is raining, especially at this time of the year. It’s money falling out of the sky and from what I see on the Rain Radar everyone is getting a good drop.

I hope many of you had an excellent Christmas and New Year, with hopefully some time off, or have time off planned now that the kids are back at school and people are back at work.

Since my last blog before Christmas, things here on farm have been hectic, and it is still rather busy. Dad and I have continued to work through as our drive-in milker has had some time off.

Pre-graze topping

Our heart attack moment came when our meal load had WAY TOO MUCH ZINC (rather than 1.9 kg/tonne… it was at 20 kg/tonne)! We had VERY SICK cows for 2 weeks. It took us a few days to figure out what was going wrong, which caused the cows to crash from 1.9 to 1.2 kg MS. We had started feeding out silage the same day as that meal load was delivered. The silage at the start of the stack was a bit too wet for our liking, but still smelt and looked good with no mould etc. But, long story short, we have been very well looked after. We received compensation from our meal feeding company, the cows are back up to 1.8 kg MS and THANKFULLY we didn’t lose any cows. I hope I never have to go through this again in my farming career!!!!

As this blog gets published there will be another GDT auction and fingers crossed its up or holds steady. Surely, with more slight increases, the Fonterra pay-out could go as high as what the banks are predicting at $7.50.

With the increase in pay-out and now some rain (just checked rain gauge – 20 mm) are people chasing production till the end of season? Or sailing steady till the end of the season?

With the situation on our farm currently we are looking at it possibly being worse than last summer. Even with the thunderstorms and heat showers at the beginning of January, and receiving 57 mm we still have 43 calves on farm till 26th February, eating too much grass but still receiving 3 kg meal/calf/day. We are milking 10 more cows than last season and feeding out 25 days earlier than last season too, which is making things look a little grim.

Even with this rain and pay-out increase we made the quick and easy decision to purchase two truck and trailer unit loads of square silage bales, delivered at $100 per bale (55 cents/kg DM). JUST IN CASE. There’s still 100 days till the 1st of June. We can always use the silage bales through the winter if need be. Our goal till end of season is DAYS IN MILK.

We are trying to make things simple till the end of season, with Dad and I organising as much as we can ….  feed wise, farm wise (putting in a new effluent system in March and upgrades to the cowshed with a new pulsator system), and a few other bits and pieces,. I have a few weekends off in a row to do a few things like: a jet skiing trip in Taupo, watching the cricket at Mt Maunganui and catching up with friends.

Current farm situation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Spore counts still less than 5,000 spores/g
  • One high BW empty cow went to the sale yards on 10th February and fetched $650.
  • Five cull cows left on 11th
  • Scanning results: out of 250 cows and nine weeks mating, 16.8% were empty, 71% 6 week in calf rate.

 

Fifteen empty cows will be carried over and sent to grazing at end of season. We are not fussed about the empty rate. We are having a BIG clean out. As long as you do your best and the cows are well fed. One comment from the vets was how November pasture was quite poor and could have affected our empty rates??

As for now let’s hope there is MORE follow up rain.

224 enjoying a hoof spa.

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