Shinagh Dairy Farm Report: Feb 2015

Profitable Science Based Farming

26 February 2015

Farm Details

  • Area available 77.82 ha
  • Farm Cover 716kg/DM/Ha
  • Growth for last 7 days has averaged 18.0 kg/DM/ha per day.
  • 29% of the farm grazed
  • 3.0 kgs of a 14% protein ration being fed to milkers per day.
  • 178 cows calved (79% of the herd calved in 26 days)

We are feeding 3kgs of a 14% ration that has minerals and calmag in it. Our farm cover is on target to get us to 400kg/ha in late March feeding this level of supplement with normal grass growth rates. We will adjust feeding level based on the spring rotation planner and our forward grass budget. The herd were housed fully two nights since last week due to very wet weather. Currently they go to grass after evening milking and are brought in to the cubicle house at 9pm but without access to silage. This ensures they are: A getting fully fed from grass and ration and B ensuring they have an appetite for grass the following morning that helps minimise poaching. Grass growth rate has improved to an average of 18.0 kg per day for the last week. We are operating to a spring rotation plan and have 29% of the farm grazed. Yes some paddocks have been a little more poached that we would like even with on – off grazing, but the only way to do no poaching is stay indoors and that’s not very profitable. Our grass demand is increasing rapidly as cows calve. Calving is going well with 178 cows and heifers calved. That’s 79% of the herd calved in 26days. There are 93 dairy heifer calves to date and 40 male calves have been sold this week. 40 out of the 44 heifers have calved. There is a strict policy of ensuring that all cows and heifers get sufficient Pre-calver mineral each day. This and ensuring easy calving AI bulls (less than 3% for cows and less than 2% for heifers) must be a factor in having no retained afterbirths so far.

Yield is 20.5 litres/milking cow per day. Current milk test is 4.98% fat and 3.73% protein with SCC running at 187,000 and TBC of 16,000. This is 1.84kg of milk solids per day.

The breeding heifers have gone to grass with the contract rearer. They have been vaccinated for BVD and lepto. Cows within 4 days of calving have only access to silage from 6pm until 9.30am in the morning. Using this system only 25 cows (out of the 178 calved) have calved between 12 and night and 5 in the morning.

Weekly updates are on the Shinagh website: