System Type: 3
Bay of Plenty
Last Update:
13 February 2019

DairyNZ Comment:

13 Feb 2019
  • This dry period is becoming unrelenting and there are areas throughout the Bay of Plenty where soil moisture levels are firmly at the level where shallow rooting pasture plants will be under stress. There are also some areas where soil moisture levels are at what’s termed Permanent Wilting Point - where there’s not enough soil moisture to sustain plant survival. OAD milking is one of the responses that management can make to increasing dry conditions. In addition to better matching the impact on the cows, it can also optimise labour use through the hotter summer months and late lactation period.

    Per cow production generally decreases around 10% while cows are being milked OAD, but the overall impact on the season’s production is approximately 4%.

    They will eat about 3% less than cows milked TAD. That’s about 1kgDM/head/day at the moment, or 100kgDM/ha. It’s not huge, but will be cumulative when you’re hunting for feed during a dry period and needs to be considered if milking OAD during a dry summer.

    With less energy being put into milk production, cows being milked OAD will be in a better energy status. OAD cows will be, on average, 0.25 BCS unit better at drying off than if they had been TAD – this means less requirement to gain BCS prior to PSC, but detectable differences in BCS take 6 weeks of OAD milking.

    The impact on SCC of switching cows to OAD milking in mid/late lactation needs to be considered, especially in the first few days. BMSCC needs to be able to double without grading when cows are switched to OAD. Cows with mastitis or high SCC are not good candidates for OAD milking and should be either dried off or continued to be milked TAD.

    If you are contemplating milking OAD, these factors must be considered alongside other farm variables such as lifestyle and associated milking costs. It can and will work, but there are a number of issues that will need to be acknowledged and mitigated where necessary. Further information on OAD milking, whether it’s full season or a more tactical approach, can be found here (

Read More
  • Date Collected

    13 Feb 2019

  • Soil temp


  • Growth

    27 kgs DM/day

  • APC

    1747 kgs DM/ha

  • Rainfall

    0 mm

  • BCS


  • % in milk

    96# %

  • MS/cow

    1.27 kgs

  • MS/ha

    4.56 kgs

  • MS/ha YTD

    1081 kgs

  • Rotation

    17 days

  • MS/cow YTD

    - kgs

  • Nitrogen YTD

    158 kgs/ha

  • Supplements

    6 kgs/cow/day

  • Supplements YTD

    880 kgs/cow/day

  • Weight Gain

    - kgs/day

  • Stocking Rate

    3.5 su/ha

  • Crude Protein Level


  • MJME


Farm walk notes:

# 55% of herd OAD

General: Facial eczema spore count this week 15,000; last week 50,000;