In June 2017, two randomised herds of 83 Jersey cows were assigned to two 25 ha farmlets (stocking rate 3.25 cow/ha). Feed inputs and management were the same for each farmlet except cows in the Winter Pad herd had access to the covered wood-chip stand-off pad when required. Dry cows were fed grass silage and milking cows were fed PKE. Cows in the Winter Pad herd were stood off on the covered pad every evening during winter. Cows were on the pad for around 17 hours most days and up to 21 hours on very wet days. Cows continued using the pad during calving, and the herd were stood off in early spring and late autumn when soils were very wet. All supplements (grass silage for dry cows and PKE for milkers) were fed in the shed.
Cows in the control herd were wintered on pasture and dry cows received grass silage in the paddock. The Control herd were only stood off pasture on races/yards on very wet nights. PKE was fed to the control herd in troughs on the milking shed exit race.
Proposal is to have 2-3 companion farms running similar systems with DairyBase analysis.