Last season was a good one to get behind us.
Things were tough for a lot of the season, with too many floods and water sitting on the farm for too long leading to regrassing some areas six times. This meant we have taken a big production and financial hit.
Also, council have come back with their decision, after five years of negotiation. They have decided to do nothing regarding the drainage issues in our area – this unfortunately does not help us at all, so we are now looking at building a feed pad/herd home and a stop bank to mitigate the effects the council drain has on our farm.
Life on farm has been busy; calving and then AB, shifting stock from the milking platform to the run off, and now sending soon to calve cows back to the farm.
Grant and Leigh are with us for another season, which is great, and they were able to have a bit of time off at the beginning of June, so it was all hands on deck for us.
The target cow numbers to peak milk is 350 and there are now 366, either on farm or the run off, so we still have 16 cows to drop out over the next 6 – 8 weeks.
On the farm
On farm we currently have 158 cows milking – all grazing 0.5 ha/day (150 day round), plus 6 kg/cow/day of meal, 1 kg/cow/day of molasses, 5 – 6 kg DM/cow/day of maize silage.
The cows are getting causmag, lime flour and salt on the maize at full rates and nothing in the water at the moment.
Production to date is 6,953 kg MS. Current production is 3.3 – 3.4 kg MS/ha/day and 1.3 – 1.35 kg MS/cow/day. BCS is 4.2 – 4.3.
The pasture cover targets for the next 8 weeks are 2,200 – 2,300 kg DM/ha in late July and 2,300 – 2,400 kg DM/ha in late August.
1.3 tonne of PhaSedN was applied in June at 150 kg urea/ha, there is 40 – 45 ha left to get this fertiliser over July. Once the full round of PhaSedN has been applied, we’ll follow with urea, at 80 – 90 kg/ha for the next full grazing round.
Mitch has been helping Frostie with developing the run off during his uni break, heaps faster fencing with two people.
Currently at the run off there are 235 – 240 cows grazing the annual pasture and also getting 5 kg DM/cow/day of maize. The first lot of early calvers are going back to the dairy farm before starting to calve around 20th July. 128 calves are still on the run off.
In other family news, Stafford, our 17 year old, is in Thailand on a mission trip with his school. He is getting to see a different culture as they help on local farms and work in villages with the community on self-sustaining projects, like fish tanks, pig pens and chicken coops. They will also work alongside youth in local schools and hospital/medical centres.