Feed tight on both farms

A new staff member started on the home farm. Hilary is a 17-year-old local girl who’s just left school. She is keen, but has lots to learn, as she is not from a farming family. After her first week Hilary can feed out, assist in the shed and feed the “bobby calves”, so all is good. Each Monday we will do a review of the “learnings” and plans for the coming days.

Both farms are tight for feed, with the home farm purchasing extra silage to get through. Hopefully, the organic farm, with careful rationing, will get through without to much impact on the cows. Calving has started on both farms.

The financial aim for both farms with the low advance in milk price is to hold expenses at 50% of gross farm income and to be cashflow positive for the season. Both these goals will require a favourable climatic season.

For the first time in five years, both farms had the same feed and crop eaten for every hectare at 13.1t/ha. The difference in per cow and per hectare performance came down to differences in purchased feed quantities of 1.1t/ha for the conventional farm versus 200kg/ha for the organic farm.

We are unsure as too whether the organic farm grew more feed or whether the conventional farm used less because of the drop in cows. Purchased feed on the home farm fell from 1.8t/ha to 1.1t/ha, reflecting both better season and reduced cows.

George Moss and his wife Sharon farm a 74ha conventional dairy, milking 185 Friesian cows as well as a 70ha conversion organic dairy farm, near Tokoroa, New Zealand

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