The Weekly Dairy Report: Peak milk flow passes about 5% ahead, mating begins in the south, dry again in the far north

The Weekly Dairy Report: Peak milk flow passes about 5% ahead, mating begins in the south, dry again in the far north

DAIRY

Spring winds continue, and as pasture conditions can change rapidly at this time of year, monitoring grass growth rates will be crucial for forward planning.

In the far north dry conditions have returned with some areas only receiving 5 mls in October amid drying winds and farmers up there will be desperate not to see a repeat of last year.

In the north many summer forage crops are now in, and mating success is being monitored by the 3 week submission rate with goals of 90%+.

In the south, heifer mating is well under way and many main herds will be targeting a 25th October start and the work spent preferential feeding of lighter cows will have its return..

Soils temperatures are increasing and drying out in Canterbury, with repaired or reduced water capacity activated,  and the 18000ha stage of the Central Plains irrigation scheme reaches a farmer capital requirement deadline.

Nitrate levels are still rising in some areas of Mid Canterbury as Environment Canterbury  grapples with ways to prevent intensive agriculture contaminating the ground water.

The Fonterra inquiry into the milk botulism scare has been released with a raft of 33 recomendations on how this situation can be prevented in the future.

The big company was criticised for its "fortress mentality", told to improve its PR and risk strategies and improve its milk plant cleaning procedures as part of the plan.

Oceania milk commodity prices remain strong even under seasonal peak volume increases, estimated to be 5% ahead of last year.

Dairy farmers are being reminded that European and US dairy farmers are ramping up production too, and the inevitable price correction will come, and NZ operators should use these buoyant time to lower debt levels as fast as possible.

It has been reported that bobby calf kill volumes are well ahead of last year reflecting continued growth in the sector, and increasing use of jersey genes deemed by the market unsuitable to dairy beef production.

This seems a lost opportunity for the beef sector and while many schemes had been tried to utilise these dairy animals to create extra animals, a industry organised scheme would generate a better response.

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