Fortnightly Update

"weaned calves"


Macalister Demonstration Farm

Macalister Demonstration Farm Update 451 (Week ending June 16, 2017)

What’s been going on at the MDF?

The MDF is winding down for the 2016/17 season, with 110 cows being dried off on the 16th June, and another 30 to be dried off on Monday 19th June. These 140 cows will leave the farm and go to agistment on the 21st of June. This will leave 110 cows remaining in the milking herd which will be dried off in mid July. Net margin after supplements is significantly higher than last fortnight, due to a lot of the lower producers being dried off resulting in an increase in average cow production per day of 0.44kgMS, combined with the removal of silage from the diet, hence a reduction in the cost of ‘supplementary feeding’.

As this report has been done in the middle of drying off a significant number of cows, some of the calculations are somewhat ‘moving targets’. The diet of the milkers has changed over the past week with the last of the silage being fed out. They are now on pasture and grain only.

In preparation for the upcoming season, the 68 in-calf heifers will be returning to the farm from agistment on the 25th of June. Following their return, they will be introduced to the dairy where they will be fed 1kg of grain per day to make their entrance into the milking herd and the dairy environment less stressful following calving, and to prepare them for the a diet of pasture and grain. The heifers are due to start calving from August 1st, and will also be fed hay between now and calving.


Description: The MDF is located at Maffra in Gippsland Victoria in the Macalister Irrigation District. The farm has a milking area of 73 ha and is fully irrigated. Two weeks ago 16/06/2017
Cow numbers (herd and vat) 266 herd and 266 vat 140 herd and    140 vat
Cow production/day 16. 21.5 litres
Fat % 4.17 4.14 %
Protein % 4.09 4.27 %
Kg milk solids/cow /day 1.36 1.8 kgMS
BMCC 185,000 212,000
Grazing and Feeding    
Concentrates 6.3 5.85 kgDM/day
Cost of concentrate (wheat) $0.27 $0.27 c/kg DM
Additive (Performer ME-125 with virginiamycin momensin plus Calciprill) 0.25c 0.25c c/cow
Cost of hay 0   c/kgDM
Silage 3.6   kgDM/day
Cost of silage 0.17c   c/kgDM
Pasture demand 4.0 10.3 kg DM/cow/day
Pasture demand (kgDM/ha/day) 14.6 19.75 kg DM/ha/day
Area in rotation (ha) 73 73 ha
Rotation length milkers (days) 38 73 days
Grazing Area (ha per 24 hours) 1.8-2 1.0 ha
Daily Income over Supplementary Feed Costs (IOSFC)    
Milk Price  (on current tests) $5.37 $5.43 $/kg milk solids
Milk Price 44.3 45.6 c/litre
**Income/cow $7.30 $9.77 $/cow/day
Supplementary Feed Cost/cow $2.56 $1.83 $/cow/day
IOSFC/cow $4.74 $7.94 $/cow/day
IOSFC/milking ha $17.27 $15.23 $/ha/day
Net litres/cow 10.6 17.5 Litres/day
Irrigated pasture cost 0 0 $/cow/day
Irrigated pasture cost 14 14 c/kg DM
Net margin after supplements and irrigated pasture $4.74 $7.94 $/cow/day






Matt Harms, ONFARM Consulting, 0408 311 118.

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