Supplement Use in a Variable Climate Update 10 Sept 20
This project compares three farms with different supplement use on production, profit and environmental impact. The three farm systems are:
- Pasture Only Farm – No imported supplement – 2.7 cows/ha
- PKE Only Farm – PKE used to fill feed gaps within milk FEI limits – 3.1 cows/ha
- PKE Plus Farm – PKE used until milk FEI limit and then other supplements added – 3.1 cows/ha
This project is funded by DairyNZ, MPI (Sustainable Farming Fund) and Hine Rangi Trust.
|10th September 2020||Pasture Only Farm||PKE Only Farm||PKE Plus Farm|
|Farm Area (ha)||28||28||28|
|Average Pasture Cover (kg DM/ha)||2186||2064||2021|
|Pasture Growth (kg DM/ha/day)||37|
|Rotation Length (days)||34||35||32|
|Cows in milk/total cows||72/77||84/88||86/88|
|Production/cow/day (kg MS)||1.39 OAD||1.91||2.00|
|Production/ha/day (kg MS)||3.48||5.51||5.83|
|Production – Season to date (kg MS)||160||214||237|
|Supplement Fed (kg DM/cow/day)||1.8 silage||3.2 PKE||2.3 PKE
2.6 Soya Hull
|Supplement Fed – Season to date
|142 Silage||204 PKE||204 PKE
|Average Body Condition Score||Milkers 4.1||Milkers 4.1||Milkers 4.2|
|Proportion cows under BCS 4.0||11%||9%||9%|
|Worry Score (1 = Low, 10 = High)||5||5||7|
|Nitrogen – Season to Date (kg N/ha)||87||84||81|
|Rainfall (mm last 2 weeks)||27 mm|
- Pasture growth remains fairly flat despite continuation of N (Sustain) and Gibberellic acid.
- Pasture covers are holding but there is no surplus
- Milkers on all farms are on 110 m2/cow, or around 28-32 day rotations. PKE Plus cows have increased SBH to try and control FEI and lift residuals which are slightly below target of 15-1600.
- The Pasture Only herd returns to twice-a-day milking as pasture levels and cow condition is reasonable. We have around 15 days silage left at the present feeding rate.
- The PKE Plus herd has been receiving Soya Bean Hulls as it was cheaper than DDG and they did not require the extra protein.
- The Fescue paddocks are growing rapidly and will likely go on a faster rotation to keep the quality.