The Weekly Dairy Report: More calls for peak cow numbers as wet spring conditions look to return from last year

The Weekly Dairy Report: More calls for peak cow numbers as wet spring conditions look to return from last year

A very wet week made soil conditions puggy and feed utilization rates plummet, as some managers used large amounts of supplements to keep stock well fed.

The only positive with this rainy cold  period is the recharge of the acquifers on the stony soils of Canterbury, after the previous 3 dry winters saw groundwater levels severely depleted.

Another very wet period is forecast for Canterbury and North Otago this weekend, and this is the last thing that is needed after just finishing clearing up from the previous weeks onslaught.

Good cow condition has helped animals cope with this weather challenge, and next month’s pasture growth rates will have a big influence on feed supply this spring.

Early calves are now dropping onto wet soils in the Waikato and regions further north, and managers will be reviewing how they coped in similar difficult conditions last year, and puting into practice valuable lessons learnt.

Whole milk powder futures have lifted in July, and processors prepare for the bobby calf harvest, urging farmers to book space early.

This trend for derivatives played out in the auction overnight with a positive index result, and a lift for whole milk powders as well.

The standout once again was the price recieved from butter at over $6000US/tonne, as dairy fats returned to the food industry after science proved its use was not to blame in the obesity crisis.

Russia warns New Zealand that dairy restrictions are possible, after an export butter sample tested positive for the presence of an antibiotic, and reinforces how fussy managers must be to isolate any treated milk.

The Dairy Hub has been opened in Southland, as the partnership between Dairy NZ, AgResearch, and the Southern Dairy Development Trust, joined forces to ensure science improves profits and solves dairy problems, in the deep south.

Farmers in the Horizons regional area are in limbo over a halt to consents with their One Plan, as regulators grapple with the discrepancies of Overseer to identify surplus nutrients in the soil.

A genetics firm called for a ceiling on dairy cow numbers in NZ, and followed others who suggest futher production will come from better per head performance, rather than increasing stock volumes.


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