Roll on 2017 – Brian Frost

Frostie has had his op – knee cartilage sorted and he’s up and running again! Between Mr. and Mrs. Frostie and the kids we are in the shed for 10 days over Christmas to give Grant and Leigh a well deserved break – what a blessing to have great staff that run the farm just how you like it. We had a great Christmas catching up with family and friends – eating yummy food and playing lots of games.

Now it’s time to pack up the house we are living in and move to another house (which we have yet to find) as the owners of the house we are renting are coming home. Will also be great to have time at the beach at the end of January to relax and recharge for 2017.

On the farm

Back to news on the farm. There are currently 326 cows on farm – all grazing 2.25 ha/day (28 day round) + 7 – 7.3 kg/cow/day of meal + ½ kg/cow/day of molasses. The production to date is 91,666 kg MS compared with 89,000ish kg MS at the same time last season. Our current production is 7.8 – 8.4 kg MS/ha/day and 1.75 – 1.9 kg MS/cow/day. Cow condition is 4.3 – 4.4.

Our average pasture cover is 2,535 kg DM/ha (winter equation) with the pasture cover targets for the next 8 weeks 3,000 – 3,100 kg DM/ha in late December (December equation) and 3,200 – 3,300 kg DM/ha in late January. The grazing round has been extended, with the chicory being fed, and has held at the 28 day round since the chicory finished last week. The turnips start in January and will put the round out to 40ish days over the summer.

Over the next month we aim to get the rest of the farm covered with 85 – 90 kg SustaiN/ha to try and boost pasture quality and growth before the summer dry arrives.

Mating

The stats for mating are: 92% cows mated in 3 weeks, 97% in 6 weeks and 100% in total to AB. We will be pregnancy testing in late January-early February and the bulls will come out of the heifers in late December / early January.

Run off

At the run off 130 R2 heifers + 13 dry cows are getting 2 days/paddock. 120 calves have improved heaps and are getting 6 days/paddock + 500 kg/2 days of a PKE/soya hull mix.

Two paddocks have just been cut for hay, which should give around 20 big bales to come back to the farm. Possibly more area could be shut up for hay again after this lot has been cut.

BF maize.jpg

Cropping

  • Maize – 14.9 ha has had fertilizer, spray etc and is looking fantastic. It is well above Brian’s head now and getting higher by the minute!
  • Chicory – 8 – 10 ha of chicory was sown on 11th November and 6 – 8 ha on 20th. This will be ready to graze in the next week with the calves getting 6 – 8 days out of each bigger paddock and the heifers getting 2 days out of the smaller paddocks.

Fertilizer

SustaiN has been applied over the whole runoff at 85 – 90 kg/ha with a second round starting now that will be finished over the next month.

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