Open Country Dairy Study

December 2016

Tim Sandbrook, Milk Supply Manager for Open Country Dairy, has been leading a comprehensive study into milk urea and its effect on milk production and cow health. 

Tim’s been collecting data for seven years across 10 farms around the Waikato.  Results  give an across-the-board view of how cow condition and milk response correlate to pasture feed profiles (including protein, soluble sugars, ME, and fibre).

Collecting detailed information like this helps in making sound decisions on how the herds are performing and also helps identify where changes are required in the nutrition plan to optimize body condition score and milk production.

Here Tim shares his October 2016 findings with us.

Report: End October 2016

Average MU is currently sitting at 27.2 Mg/dl. 

Pasture is more stalky than the same time last year, with lower protein and soluble sugars and higher fibre. ME is lower at 11.5 MJ/KgDM.

Though there has been less surplus tucker for silage, the mowers have been out topping more than usual in an effort to maintain pasture quality; which in spite of advice to the contrary, is a very good plan this season.

october 2016 report 1

october 2016 report 2

Cow BCS has lifted to 3.99 now and most cows are looking nice and shiny, with a lot less of them at a BCS of 3.0. Milk production is holding up fairly evenly across the whole Waikato.

october 2016 report 3


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