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"Hi Mark. Thanks for your visit the other day, for saving me money and making me money. The cows are up two litres/day and I'm saving money on purchased hay, they are going great. Thanks again, Danny".

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Tuesday
Sep112012

A quick reminder to focus on Peak production.

Following is an exerpt from an email I sent to my client base as a quick reminder of the importance of peak production.

As a group you are all doing very very well and we are now averaging so close 1kg of protein (0.99kg/day) its fantastic. The pastures have really started to grow, and our challenges (in most cases) is going to be controlling pasture quality.

Its important to remember that we must be offering the pastures to the cows on the day they can eat the most of it!! this means offering it to them when it is lowest in NDF. For those of you who love to talk leaf stage this means 2.5 leaf stage. But the most critical aspect of pasture management at the moment is ensure that you do not over graze.

Remember that we are fast approaching peak milk/intake. And that peak milk will set their/our production expectations for the year, if we miss peak the rest of the season is going to be a real challenge. The industry is renowned for pulling grain/stuffing up balance (mostly starch and metabolisable protein, but also macro/micro mineral balance) whilst we have pasture, missing peak, and then chasing our tails for the rest of season....trying to stuff the grain in etc when the milk price comes good. But if the horse has already bolted (we miss peak), its a worthless exercise. Hence the industry is stuck at 5500-6000 litres/cow/year.......don't stuff it up!!

A quick way to establish where the cows need to get to is divide your production expectations for the season (lets say its 8500 litres/cow/yr) by 225/230 (36 litres/cow/day at peak). We do this because well fed cows from peak will achieve roughly 230 litres for every litre at peak as opposed to old industry rule of 1:200) , for the rest of her lactation.

Given we (as a group) average over 8000 litres last season, if we are going to dilute increases in production costs (eg grain costs), and buffer the loss in milk income (down by somewhere between 2%-8%, deends on your level of optimism), and maintain profit levels from last season, then 8500 litres is where we are going to have to be.

 

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