System Type: 2
Bay of Plenty
Last Update:
19 June 2019

DairyNZ Comment:

19 Jun 2019
  • The start of calving is looming

    For cows in their last month before calving, their current body condition (BC) will be their calving condition. For lighter pregnant cows more than one month out from calving, now is a good time to increase their BC score, however time to achieve this is rapidly decreasing.

    Grazing after calving

    Grazing management in the first two months after calving largely determines production to Christmas and how well-fed cows will be at mating.

    Spring Rotation Planner

    The SRP allocates a set area per day (or per week) from when the MA cows calve to balance date, starting on a slow rotation and speeding up to a quicker rotation in the spring. It’s most effective when actual pasture cover is monitored against target and the rotation sped up or slowed down to bring the average pasture cover back on target. So dust off the Spring Rotation Planner (SRP) and run some different scenarios to identify where sensitive factors may exist.

    Pasture cover at calving

    We all understand the importance of pasture at calving. If pasture cover is too high this will mean pasture will be wasted and subsequent pasture growth may be reduced. If there is insufficient pasture, there’s a higher likelihood the cows will be underfed.

    If we attempt to fully feed cows when there is insufficient pasture available and drop down to a quicker rotation length too soon:

    • grazing interval is reduced,
    • pastures are grazed before the 2.5-3-leaf stage, and
    • pasture growth rates will be reduced and farm cover is likely to stay low until the late spring.

    In spring, there are key times when we need to make sure that we hit our pasture cover targets. The average pasture cover at calving (along with supplements available) will determine how well the cows are fed for the first two months after calving and the average pasture cover at balance date will determine the quality and quantity of feed at mating.

    Feed allocation in spring

    This needs to result in the average pasture cover being lowest when feed supply equals demand (balance date) with the target pasture cover dependant on the stocking rate and per cow pasture demand, which is influenced by breed and the level of supplements being fed.

    Aim to be on the fastest rotation when pasture growth moves ahead of herd requirements (balance date). The higher the stocking rate, and especially if little or no supplement is available, the more important this rule will become.

    For more information

    Develop your own Spring Rotation Planner and get some tips for using the SRP during this critical period.

Read More
  • Date Collected

    19 Jun 2019

  • Soil temp


  • Growth

    24 kgs DM/day

  • APC

    2177 kgs DM/ha

  • Rainfall

    30 mm

  • BCS


  • % in milk

    0 %

  • MS/cow

    0 kgs

  • MS/ha

    0 kgs

  • MS/ha YTD

    0 kgs

  • Rotation

    100 days

  • MS/cow YTD

    0 kgs

  • Nitrogen YTD

    - kgs/ha

  • Supplements

    0.3 kgs/cow/day

  • Supplements YTD

    11 kgs/cow/day

  • Weight Gain

    - kgs/day

  • Stocking Rate

    2.2 su/ha

  • Crude Protein Level


  • MJME