· Get it serviced now by a qualified technician.
Make sure to get a print-out and act on the
recommendations. If your technician isn't up to
scratch get a new technician.
· Liners, worn rubber, diaphragms must be
· Vacuum pump should be washed out with diesel.
· Regulator should be cleaned with methylated
· Pulsators and relays must be checked.
· Draw hot water through the pulse tube, through
the pulsators/relays and into the vacuum line to
clean them out.
· As an alternative to a dump line use an old churn
or milk bucket in the pit. This is being done
but you have to lift this churn out of the pit
· It is suggested you leave the churn in the dairy
and use a long milk tube to attach onto the
· Consider the addition of a dump line, an
automatic bulk tank and milking machine washer,
if these chores are slowing you down in the
· If you are milking more than 8 cows per unit
consider adding a few more units to your
· These suggestions should be seriously considered
if you are paying a lot of tax or if you are
· Some well-informed farmers could and do service
their milking machines themselves.
Poor milking routine is the cause of mastitis on 30 per
cent of farms.
· Something that must be re-learned and practiced.
· Make sure to teach all those skills to new farm
staff in January.
CHEQUES AND ACTIONS
This is a key month to check out the progress of your
winter management and the reward will be better
"cheques" in 2019.
Have your thin cows put on condition?
· They should now be near body condition score
(BCS) of 3.
· If they aren't and they are still 6-8 weeks from
calving increase the meal feed and keep them on
very good silage.
· If some cows are too fat (BCS = 3.5+) then you
must separate them out from the cows and
restrict their silage to 25-30kg silage (fresh) plus
2-3kg straw. Otherwise, they will have health
problems after calving, will milk 300 litres less in
early lactation and be slower to go in calf.
· They will be more prone to calving problems and
Have you lame cows, heifers or cattle on slats? I'm
convinced it is a major problem on many farms. It is
not picked up in time, mainly through neglect.
· To prevent, keep yards and passages clean; but
you must also have good ventilation.
· Put milkers through a foothbath of Copper or
Zinc for three consecutive days during each
Has your herd lice?
· They may have returned.
· They will have been scratching or licking
Are your strong yearlings, replacement or males going
to grass over 280kg?
· They need no more meals with fairly good silage.
· Light weanlings almost certainly need 2-3kg
of meal (12-14 per cent P), particularly if silage
quality moderate, otherwise they will not achieve
service weights in May.
Look out for the signs of liver fluke in stock.
· It costs 160 per cow affected.
· The losses can be similar for cattle.
· Consult your vet.
· Symptoms include scouring, poor thrive.
· Best confirmed by dung samples, dose before
calving, being aware of milk withdrawal periods.
Worms (type11) can by a serious problem for all cattle
and young cows.
· Confirm their presence or absence with a dung
· Use a worm dose that kills type 11 stomach
NITROGEN + P + K & SLURRY ADVICE
We do not know how long the winter may be but we
need to risk manage the possibility that it will be long.
One of the ways is to provide spring grass for all types
Achieve this goal by applying nitrogen and slurry
immediately the rules allow.
· To achieve this you must have N (protected
Urea) and the slurry agitated (take care) for the
a) 16 week storage zone
b) 18 week storage zone
c) 20 week storage zone
d) 22 week storage zone
Even after these dates be careful as the object of the
exercise is not to pollute (even a little), by loss of
nutrients, wells, rivers, streams etc.
· Stay back from these.
· Don't spread on wet land, or when rain is
· However, your target must be ready to apply the
nitrogen and the slurry on these dates as near as
possible for your region.
Best results are got from spreading slurry in spring,
so be ready when dry, fine weather arrives. When
slurry works well less bagged nitrogen will have to be
Nitrogen ration: The most any farmer will be using
this year is 279kgs N/ha (226 units/acre; multiply kgs/
ha by 0.8 = units/acre) per acre over the whole farm.
· Therefore, there is no justification in putting on