Future Farming Trial Update 09 Sept 21

 

This project commenced June 2021. It will compare 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, 3.0 cows/ha
  2. Alternative Pastures Farm – Fescue & cocksfoot based pastures, up to 190 kg N/ha, 3.0 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, 2.1 cows/ha

This project is funded by DairyNZ, MPI (Sustainable Farming Fund) and Hine Rangi Trust.

 

 

9th September 2021 Current Farm Alternative Pastures Farm Low Emissions Farm
Average Pasture Cover (kg DM/ha) 2353 2283 2315
Pasture Growth (kg DM/ha/d, last 2 weeks) 58 60 46
Rotation Length (days) – avg last 2 wks 34 32 44
Area out for silage 0 22% 13%
Cows in Milk/Peak Cows 82/86 83/86 56/59
Production/cow/day (kg MS) 2.0 2.1 1.9
SCC (‘000) 109 85 77
Production/ha/day (kg MS) 5.47 5.98 3.73
Production/ha/season to date 192 216 129
Milk FEI Zone A/B A A
Supplement Fed (kg DM/cow/day, milkers) 2.7=>0 PKE 0 0
Purchased Supplement Fed

(kg DM/cow/season to date)

153 PKE

81 Purch Bale

115 PKE

6 Purch Bale

66 PKE

139 HG Bale

Average Body Condition Score (Milkers) 4.2 4.1 4.1
Worry Score (1 = Low, 10 = High)                   3 4 2
Nitrogen – Season to Date (kg N/ha) 76 85 0
Rainfall (mm last 2 weeks) 59 mm

 

CURRENT MANAGEMENT

  • Pasture growth has picked up prior to this cold snap
  • Soil conditions are amazing for this time of year and have allowed great utilisation and residuals
  • Rotation lengths are speeding up further on all farms
  • The Current Farm is speeding up to 30 days having recently dropped supplement out. We expect to drop paddocks out in the next 2 weeks
  • The Alt Pastures farm dropped out 22% of the farm today and sped up to 19 d rotation to keep on top of fescue seedhead emergence.
  • The Low Emission farm is seeing rising residuals so we dropped out 13% today and will speed up to 30d rotation. Paddocks are looking yellow with no N but growth is keeping up with demand on the lower stocking rate.
  • N as Ammo36 is continuing on Current and Alt Pastures farms
  • All cows are now being monitored for premating heats
  • Copper, Selenium, Cobalt and Magnesium are all going through the Dosatron