Future Farm Systems Update 17 Nov 2022

 

 

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 – 17th November 2022 Current Farm Alternative Pastures Farm Low Emissions Farm
Avg Pasture Cover (kg DM/ha, excl silage pad) 2384 2273 2167
Pasture Growth (kg DM/ha/d, last 2 weeks) 111 90 85
Rotation Length (days) 20 23 2
Cows in Milk/Peak Cows 84/84 86/86 63/63
Area out for silage (% of farm) 25% 21% 28%
Production/cow/day (kg MS) 1.60 1.68 1.69
Production/ha/day (kg MS) 4.83 5.18 3.80
Production/cow – 2022/23 season (kg MS) 183 186 177
Production/ha – 2022/23 season (kg MS) 560 576 405
Supplement Fed (kg DM/cow/day) 0 0 0
Total Purchased Supplement Fed

(kg DM/cow 2022/23 season)

388 PKE

212 Purch Silage

239 PKE

213 Purch Silage

163 PKE

0 Purch Silage

Homegrown Silage Fed (kg DM/cow STD) 0 0 221
Average Body Condition Score – Milkers 4.26 4.2 4.2
Worry Score (1 = Low, 10 = High) 2 2 2
Nitrogen – Season to Date (kg N/ha) 126 121 0
Rainfall (mm last 2 weeks) 87 mm

CURRENT MANAGEMENT

  • Warm wet weather meant we dropped out more silage today for harvest next week
  • We now have 32% of Current Farm, 21% of Alt Pastures farm and 36% of Low Emissions farm out
  • Close monitoring of residuals is important as things are changing so quickly each week
  • SCC is sitting at 50-60,000 on all farms despite wet weather
  • Sustain is continuing behind the cows at 0.8kgN/day of rotation, so 35-40kg/ha Sustain, on the Current and Alt Pastures farms while the forecast predicts rain.
  • Our fertiliser trial has shown good responses to N on all farms this year, at 28kgDM/kgN averaged across the three sites.