Pedra Vermelha Farm
Owners and Managers: Andréia e Sone Hickenbick.
Technical advisor: Luis Henrique Correia
Productive System Description
Productive System Description. The farm currently has a total feasible area of 1,002 ha: from which 500 ha are integrated crop-livestock systems (soybean / annual winter pastures), 440 ha are native pastures, 22 ha are perennial summer pastures (8 ha being palisade grass and 14 ha guinea grass cv. Aruana), and 40 ha are summer and winter annual pastures (Sudan Grass – Summer / Black Oats – Winter).
The work has begun in August 2015, and since then the farm has received continuous visits ranging from up to 30 to 60 days intervals.
Among the diagnosed findings for the farm we can cite:
1) Summer / winter forage imbalance: until then the property did not have the 40 ha of Sudan Grass and 14 ha of guinea grass cv. Aruana, having a great winter forage supply, however for the summer there were forage restrictions, mainly from nutritional quality for categories termination.
2) Deficient rearing of females and consequent age for the first service at 36 months: through establishing cultivated summer pastures, it was possible to anticipate the males slaughter age, thus reducing an animal category during the winter period, a fact that made it possible to maintain the replacement heifers on winter pastures during their rearing.
Integrated Production Plan
The established production goals for the system is to have 350 belly, with a 85% minimum weaning rate, and 20% annual discard rate; achieving a slaughter age at 18 months and females first service at 24 months old; and 250 kg as minimum weight for calves entering the winter pasture; and 450 kg as the desired minimum slaughter weight.
The breeding season defined for the production system is 90 days, between August and November, aiming to concentrate births between May and June (using annual winter pastures in the integrated crop-livestock systems area).
Figure 1. Annual forage planning – Pedra Vermelha Farm.
Results obtained so far
1) The calves weight entering the winter pastures in April 2017 was 262 kg; a new goal was established: 300 kg.
2) The property already slaughters about 60% of males at 18 months old, weighing over 400 kg. The outlook for 2018 is to slaughter 100% of males until 18 months old;
3) The pregnancy rate has oscillated between 82 and 85%, which it stills a challenge to be achieved in the farm: to reach the minimum value of 85%.