Future Farm Systems Trial Update 26 Jan 2023

 

This project compares the productivity, profitability and impact on people and the environment on three farms, being:

  1. Current Farm – Kikuyu & ryegrass based pastures with up to 190 kg N/ha/annum, 3.1 cows/ha
  2. Alternative Pastures Farm – Fescue & cocksfoot based pastures, up to 190 kg N/ha, 3.1 cows/ha
  3. Low Emissions Farm – Kikuyu & ryegrass based pastures, designed to reduce methane emissions by 25% and nitrous oxide by 50%, no nitrogen applied, 2.3 cows/ha

This project is funded by DairyNZ, MPI (Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures) and Hine Rangi Trust.

 

 

Update – 26­­th January 2023 Current Farm Alternative Pastures Farm Low Emissions Farm
Avg Pasture Cover (kg DM/ha, excl silage pad) 2248 2231 2266
Pasture Growth (kg DM/ha/d, last 2 weeks) 52 59 63
Rotation Length (days) 27 28 32
Cows in Milk/Peak Cows 83/84 84/86 57/62
Area out for silage (% of farm) 0% 0% 26%
Production/cow/day (kg MS) 1.24 1.42 1.45
Production/ha/day (kg MS) 3.70 4.28 3.02
Production/cow – 2022/23 season (kg MS) 274 289 280
Production/ha – 2022/23 season (kg MS) 838 893 641
6 week in-calf rate 81% 82% 82%
Supplement Fed (kg DM/cow/day) 0 0 0
Total Purchased Supplement Fed

(kg DM/cow 2022/23 season)

400 PKE

212 Purch Silage

268 PKE

213 Purch Silage

163 PKE

0 Purch Silage

Homegrown Silage Fed (kg DM/cow) 0 0 221
Homegrown Silage on hand (kg DM/cow) 265 386 372
Average Body Condition Score 4.1 4.2 4.2
Worry Score (1 = Low, 10 = High) 2 2 1
Nitrogen – Season to Date (kg N/ha) 153 152 0
Rainfall (mm last 2 weeks) 80 mm

CURRENT MANAGEMENT

  • Good pasture growth and covers continue with regular rainfall
  • All herds are on pasture only feeding with the Low Emissions farm also having 26% shut for silage harvest next week.
  • High clover presence continues on all farms, with the Low Emissions farm having a very high clover proportion in pastures. This is likely to be driving higher milk production per cow.
  • All farms have achieved 6 week in-calf rates over 80%. Final pregnancy testing will be done in February
  • Facial eczema spore counts are being monitored regularly with warm humid conditions ideal for spore growth.