Field Day on Pip Gale’s Farm, 9th March 2017

March 2017

We’ve been tracking performance on Pip’s farm as he has sought to develop a ‘cow centric’ management system and what we are seeing is quite astounding… kgMS/ha/day the farm is 73% up on the area average over the last 10 days, 70% up month to date and 34% season for date and is looking to finish very strongly.

 

At the Field Day, Pip reminded us of his objectives…

  • To demonstrate ‘cow centric’ farm management where our forage management systems support improved FCE, biological sustainability and operating profit
  • In 3 years move from 220 cows producing 105,000kg MS (1,600kg MS/ha) to 240 cows producing 130,000kg MS (1,900kg MS/ha) on 67ha (total)
  • Target bold improvements in reproductive performance in a herd which is producing well in excess of 1kg MS per 1kg liveweight
  • Motivation for future generations

 

He then spoke of conditions since his last presentation of 21st December 2016…

  • Continued to top paddocks until the 7th February
  • Applied foliar N throughout January
  • Started feeding turnips on the 27th January (about 1 week earlier than planned)
  • Increased pellet feeding from 6-7kg per cow daily on the 8th February until 24th February
  • Fed pasture silage from the 10th Feb. – 5th March
  • Turnip grazing phased out 1st week March, last feed was 7th March

 

And most importantly, Fonterra’s “Agrigate” shows that in terms of district averages, Pip’s farm is performing in spectacular fashion…

 

Benchmark (kgMS/ha/day)

 Average: 10d Avg MTD STD
Current Season 5.71 5.71  5.62
Last Season triangleup19% triangleup32%  triangledown7%
East Waikato triangleup73% triangleup70%  triangleup34%
Springdale triangleup82% triangleup80%  triangleup41%
Farm System 4 triangleup43% triangleup42%  triangleup29%

 

Plus the cows have reached the optimal protein to fat ratio of 0.75…

 

Benchmark (Protein Fat Ratio)

 Average: 10d Avg MTD STD
Current Season 0.75 0.76  0.78
Last Season triangleup7% triangleup9%  triangleup4%
East Waikato triangleup6% triangleup5%  triangleup3%
Springdale triangleup4% triangleup4%  triangleup1%
Farm System 3 triangledown1%  -  -

 

So things are tracking incredibly well plus Pip is predicting closing the season out very strongly…

  • outstanding forage quality
  • maintaining cows above 1.5kg MS daily until dry off (which will be staggered according to calving date)
  • above 105,000kg MS, which will be quite an achievement given the wet start and summer soil moisture deficit


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