Due to the recent rain, growing conditions have been excellent through the MID. At the MDF, grass consumption per hectare and milk per cow has increased. The two important grass management issues at the moment are minimising water-logging, and maintaining grass utilisation. A few paddocks are undergrazed, for the following reasons in different paddocks:
- Too much grass offered for the size of the herd and the grass intake capacity of each cow.
- Some paddocks contain summer weeds, which are seeding now. The leaves of summer weeds (paspalum, distichum, wild millet) are unpalatable, low in energy, and high in fibre, and the stems and seed-heads are even worse quality than the leaves. This is a triple whammy for energy intake and milk production: 1. Cows don’t want to eat them; 2. Cows cannot eat much of them; 3. If they do eat them, they get little energy.
- Too much residue (dead material in the base), left from previous grazings.
- Some paddocks have been wet and muddy, making it hard for cows to graze properly.
Many farms in the MID are likely to have the same situation on-farm- unprecedented grass growth for February. If underutilisation is likely, there are two good options:
- Skip a few paddocks and make silage. The downside is the cost of making the silage, silage can be a wasteful process (making, fermenting, and feed out), and it will not be the best silage. The upside is that any high residue and/or poor quality grass is removed and cows are then far more likely to utilise the paddocks better next time.
- Let the cows graze laxly and then top the paddock so that the un-eaten grass above 6cm is removed, but wasted. Cow grass intake capacity may lift, and they may graze out future paddocks better.
|FEED MARGIN PERFORMANCE||MDF TEN DAYS AGO||MDF THIS TEN DAYS||ANOTHER MID FARM||Units|
|Ten days to date:||10-Feb-20||20-Feb-20||20-Feb-20|
|Milker graze area||71||69||100||Ha|
|Average graze rest time||33||33||24||Days|
|Estm’d pasture consmp’n||40||41||39||kg DM/ha/day|
|Pasture consum’d per cow||9.7||9.9||10.8||kg DM/cow/day|
|Pasture growing spend||$5.98||$5.53||$4.13||$/ha/day|
|Estm’d pasture price||$151||$136||$107||$/T DM|
|Conc (incl additives)supp fed/cow||6.8||6.8||7.4||kg DM/cow/day|
|Conc (incl additives)supp avg price||$487||$487||$481||$/T DM|
|Hay/silage supp fed/cow||0.0||0.0||0.0||kg DM/cow/day|
|Hay/silage supp price||$/T DM|
|Feed Conversion Efficiency||99||100||108||kg MS/tonne DM|
|Total feed intake/cow||16.3||16.4||18.3||kg DM/cow/day|
|NDF Fibre in diet||30.5%||30.6%||29.9%||% NDF|
|Milk Solids per cow||1.63||1.66||1.98||kg/cow/day|
|Milk price (less levies)/kg MS||$6.94||$6.92||$6.93||$/kg MS|
|Milk price (less levies)/litre||$0.53||$0.55||$0.55||$ per litre|
|All feed cost/cow||$4.75||$4.63||$5.28||$/cow/day|
|Margin over all Feed/cow||$6.59||$6.89||$8.47||$/cow/day|
|MOAF /ha /day||$26.91||$28.37||$30.22||$/ha/day|
|Farm MOAF per DAY||$1,910||$1,958||$3,022||$/day|
|Feed cost $/kg MS||$2.78||$2.78||$2.66||$/ kg MS|