LIC | FarmWise Tips


FarmWise Tips

 

June
 

 

July
 

 

August
 

Farm Management Tips

  • Update feed budgets and management plans, including financial budgets.
  • Make sure new staff members get time to ‘learn the ropes’ prior to the start of calving.
  • Review supplements required for winter; purchase additional if necessary.
  • Use nitrogen to increase pasture cover (if in northern regions).
  • Update animal details to reflect those that have died, been culled or been sold. Once all herd details are updated, order a MINDA Herd Record.
  • Before the start of calving, tag incoming two-year-old heifers and any bought-in animals with herd management and NAIT tags; record in MINDA.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Familiarise heifers with milking shed routines.
  • Ensure yearlings are on-target to achieve 60% mature liveweight by mating.
  • Condition-score all cows and compare to targets.
  • Preferentially feed low Body Condition Score (BCS) cows, and continue to check dry cows for clinical mastitis. Consult your veterinarian for treatment advice.

Farm Management Tips

  • To set up your first milking round, request a rotation planner from a FarmWise® Consultant.
  • To help plan and manage feed and staffing requirements, use the Expected Calving Report.
  • Consider applying nitrogen to increase pasture cover for calving, and discuss the calving strategy with staff.
  • Start magnesium supplementation four weeks prior to calving.
  • Continue with regular farm walks to assess pasture supply.
  • Record pasture covers in MINDA™ Land and Feed.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • If you are a bull supplier, have bulls screened by GeneMark for BVD and EBL to meet market requirements.
  • In conjunction with your veterinarian, screen calves for BVD using GeneMark’s Allflex Applicator.
  • Good calf/heifer rearing begins with two litres of first-milking colostrum within six hours of birth.
  • Ensure you have the MINDA Calving app ready to record calving events in the paddock.

 

Farm Management Tips

  • Start weekly farm walks to assess pasture cover and growth rates; update the feed budget and feed wedge.
  • Use the First-Round Planner to allocate grazing areas for milkers and dry cows.
  • Keep newly-calved cows in the colostrum mob until they are clear (ie. until their milk passes CMT or conductivity tests).
  • Print off the following MINDA reports: Expected Calving by Cow; Expected Calving by Date; Calving Progress Report.
  • Tag all replacement calves and record the tag number in MINDA.
  • It is not too late to schedule a first Herd Test; SCC information should be used to help manage mastitis during and after calving.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Colostrum cows should be the priority when it comes to feed allocation.
  • If under feed stress, consider the use of Once-A-Day (OAD) milking for the first two weeks of calving.
  • Ensure mineral supplementation is adequate for pre and post-calving cows.
  • Ensure mineral supplementation is adequate for pre and post-calving cows.
  • Begin planning for next year to reduce the proportion of late-calving cows (which don’t perform as well as others both reproductively and in terms of production).

 


 

September
 


 

October
 


 

November
 

Farm Management Tips

  • Discuss a nutrient management plan with a FarmWise Consultant; consider soil fertility levels, nutrients from effluent, and bought-in supplements. Magnesium supplementation prior to calving reduces animal health problems after calving.
  • Replacement calves should be dehorned, vaccinated (for clostridial diseases) and drenched.
  • Continue weekly farm walks to assess pasture supply.
  • Review your supplementary feed policy so that substitution is not occurring.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Organise a mating programme and a heat detection training day for staff.
  • Tail-paint the herd 35 days before the start of mating; record pre-mating heat dates; book a veterinarian for a visit one week before start of AB (so a check can be done on cows that have not been observed on heat).
  • Metricheck cows at least 35 days before the planned start of mating; treating uterine infections early gives cows the best possible chance of getting back in calf early.
  • Ensure heifers, at 15 months, are at liveweight target for mating, and health treat as advised by the vet.
 

Farm Management Tips

  • Feed quality is paramount at this time of the year. Consider topping to ensure pasture residuals are kept at the optimum, and to ensure poor quality feed is not being taken into summer.
  • Consider shutting up some paddocks for silage, etc. Be flexible with faster rounds/topping, as pasture growth rates will fluctuate. Continue with farm walks and link back to pasture ‘trigger’ levels.
  • Any summer crop paddocks should be identified and crops planted before the end of the month. Effluent can be put onto these paddocks to save on ‘starter fertiliser.’
  • A MINDA or MINDApro Report of Calves Reared can help select calves for replacement or sale. For calves with uncertain parentage, GeneMark Parentage Verification can establish an animal’s true BW (and increase its value).
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Time spent with staff covering the basics of heat detection and record-keeping could be the difference between high and medium submission rates.
  • Aim for a submission rate of more than 90 percent in the first three weeks of mating – ask a veterinarian to check cows not mated in that time. If using MINDApro, mating information from the AB Technician’s DataMATE™ will be available in the Submission Rate Report the following day.
  • Mate yearlings seven to 10 days before the herd’s planned start of mating.
  • Replace damaged or loose heat detectors and maintain tail paint weekly.

Farm Management Tips

  • When making silage ensile, use high-quality leafy material; then wilt to remove excess moisture, compact well to exclude air, and cover and seal immediately.
  • Keep giving cows magnesium through mating.
  • Feed quality is paramount at this time of the year. Consider topping to ensure pasture residuals are kept at the optimum, and to ensure poor quality feed is not being taken into summer.
  • Prioritise weed control.
  • Nitrogen will help promote leaf growth, as well as pasture growth rates.
  • Apply fertiliser based on a nutrient budget and soil tests.
  • Make sure Herd Tests are scheduled for the rest of the season (to get the best out of MINDA and MINDApro reports).
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Calves can be sent to grazing now. Be sure to monitor these animals regularly with MINDA Weights.
  • Ensure there are sufficient, healthy, service bulls (rotate two teams; ratio of 1:30 for two-year-olds in the paddock at any one time; ration of 1:20 for yearling bulls).
  • Consider extending AB if there are not enough service bulls on hand.


 

December
 


 

January
 


 

February
 

Farm Management Tips

  • Consider using nitrogen fertiliser to boost pasture cover heading into summer.
  • Monitor summer crops for pest and disease. Ensure fertiliser levels are adequate.
  • To predict pasture growth and irrigation requirements, monitor soil moisture levels.
  • Prepare a roster for the summer holidays.
  • When putting in new races or doing maintenance work, make sure effluent and moisture from the race cannot enter waterways. Divert runoff into paddocks where it can be treated by the soil and nutrients, and utilised by the grass.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Ensure replacement calves are priority-fed, but do not run them too close in front of the milking herd.
  • Mate cows for a maximum of 12 weeks. Maiden heifers should be mated a maximum of nine weeks.
  • Develop a pregnancy testing strategy with your vet to get detailed information.

 

Farm Management Tips

  • Start facial eczema control early – for maximum protection, zinc treatment should begin two to three weeks before the spore growth danger period.
  • If supplement is to be purchased, base this on $/kg DM and quality –ME.
  • If feeding summer crops, make breaks long and narrow to limit wastage, and introduce cows gradually to the crop.
  • Keep up teat spraying. Make sure teat spray covers the entire teat.
  • Summer is a demanding time for water. Check for reticulation leaks and maximise irrigation efficiency.
  • If the bulk milk SCC is increasing, dry off high SCC and low yielding cows first. Refer to the SAMM Plan.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • As a summer management strategy, consider OAD or three-milkings-in-two-days.
  • Use early-aged pregnancy testing to record and assess 3-week and 6-week in-calf rates, and decide on mating stop date.

Farm Management Tips

  • If conditions are dry avoid overgrazing of pastures.
  • If planning to re-grass part of the farm, FarmWise Consultants recommend having the seed in the ground at the start of the autumn rains, or by mid-March.
  • If planning to buy cows, start looking now. Identified high BW and PW animals are the best buy. Buy only after seeing the proof. Be careful – check information is timely, as economic values of BWs are updated toward the end of this month.
  • For the most useful information, check the farm’s Herd Test date falls within four to six weeks of drying off. An extra Herd Test can be ordered if required.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • If heat stress is a problem for cows: reduce walking distances and speeds; milk later; walk cows to the furthest paddocks following the afternoon milking or; adopt OAD milking.
  • Complete a summer feed budget for decisions on cow numbers and level of supplements required; minimise BCS loss with a summer feed plan.
  • If not already confirmed, contact graziers for autumn and winter grazing requirements.
  • To make early decisions about empties, pregnancy-test the herd six weeks after the end of mating. Consider options for empties – look at economics of grazing young empties out.
  • Develop a plan to address any calving pattern issues.
  • Review herd reproductive performance with your FarmWise consultant.

 


 

March
 

 

April

 

May

Farm Management Tips

  • Review employment and sharemilking agreements.
  • Dry off the high-SCC and low-yielding cows before drying off the whole herd, as per the SAMM Plan.
  • If growing kale, nitrogen can be effective.
  • Start the autumn fertiliser plan.
  • Plan the annual weed/pest programme – use the least hazardous method at the best time to protect health, and avoid spray drift.
  • Begin feed budgeting now to set the farm up for next spring. The MINDA Expected Calving Report will help. A FarmWise Consultant can advise on rotation lengths for winter set-up.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Plan to dry cows off early, or feed them better, so they calve in condition score 5.
  • To put condition on consider OAD or three-milkings-in-two-days.
  • Focus on first-calvers, because the calving target for them is condition score 5.5
  • Apply nitrogen to set up feed supply (to boost farm cover and increase condition scores).

Farm Management Tips

  • Contact a FarmWise Consultant to discuss objectives.
  • Review autumn fertiliser requirements.
  • To help extend rotation and build up winter feeds, use nitrogen.
  • Treat cows at drying off in accordance with SAMM Plan recommendations. Use a MINDA Drying Off Treatment Guide or use MINDApro to help select cows for appropriate treatment.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Dry off cows based on condition, age, and calving date.
  • To put condition on, consider OAD or three-milkings-in-two-days options.
  • Keep an eye on cow condition. Don’t compromise liveweight by milking cows too long. Remember, in order to put on one condition score, a dry cow needs the same intake (for a period of six weeks) as a milking cow.

Farm Management Tips

  • Plan to attend National Fieldays in Hamilton next month, 10 to 13 June.
  • Plan for and take a good winter holiday in preparation for spring and encourage staff to do the same; don’t underestimate the importance of rest and relaxation for all involved in the farm business.
  • Book now for a milking machine check. Subsequent servicing may prevent cow health problems. Also book in an irrigation service, and drain pumps if there is a frost risk.
  • Tag incoming two-year-old heifers
  • Update animal details with animals died/culled/sold, and record herd numbers for incoming heifers. Keep updating disease and treatment details on the national database.
 

FarmWise Repro Tips

  • Review cow condition, heifer liveweights, and feed budgets; prepare a winter management plan to ensure cows and heifers are fed appropriately in the bid to hit target condition and weight.
  • Check with grazier on requirements for winter grazing of young stock and herd; secure additional feed if required.

 

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