Remember a missed heat will cost you 250 on your
next year's profit. Many farmers are having 10+ missed
heats per 100 cows. Good heat detection is the way to
avoid that loss.
Because nearly half the cows in the country are by stock
bulls I suggest that farmers with a low EBI herd should
use all Beef AI and buy in good calves next spring or
better still do a contract NOW with someone for them
If you have a vasectomised bull, one per 20- 30 cows,
let him into the herd 5-6 weeks after start of mating
date. Before that he will be wrecked.
1½ TO 2 AI STRAWS PER COW:
Yes, that's the minimum number of Dairy AI, straws
you should use this year.
· For every 50 cows use 75 AI straws
· It is a very simple way of planning and knowing
you will have adequate replacements in 2 years'
· If you are planning to expand you must use 2+
straws for every cow in the herd, or 100 AI straws
per 50 cows. That means all the heifers must be
Farmers who are serious about expansion and have
the scope should use nothing else but `Dairy AI' on all
· See the updated bull list on the ICBF web site,
· Don't be afraid to use Jersey on high, yielding,
infertile Holsteins as it will increase the profit of
the progeny by 180 per cow.
Keep focused on using highest EBI bulls with over
120 of the EBI coming from fertility and that improve
protein by at least 0.15 per cent.
The "mop-up" stock bull must NOW be check for
fertility and ability to "do -the-job"
· Hand mate each stock bull you have NOW with
3-4 cows you are not using for replacement
heifers. In 3 weeks' time if greater than 50 per
cent repeat, you know the bull is in trouble.
· Remember, one in 10 bulls are infertile, while one
in three become infertile at some stage during
· At a recent discussion group one farmer owned
up to the fact that he has 21 cows to calve in late
May/June due to his stock bull's problems last
year. Some loss of milk he is now having to sell
off these cows.
MANAGING THE GRASS WEDGE?
Quality grass is grass that is over 80 per cent DMD and
is necessary to maximise milk yield and percentage
protein from cows.
The quality of grazed grass is totally dependent on
grazing grass that is the correct height (pre grazing
cover) for each individual farmer's stocking rate.
Tight grazing (4 4.5cms), especially early in the
season, can prevent the build-up of tall grass areas
in paddocks. But is can result in decreased milk
production if not well managed.
When surpluses do arise, as they will, they should be
taken out as round bale and fed back again to cows later
in the year when grass becomes scarce. But, even with
this principle, some minimum topping will be necessary
and it should be done early in May rather than later.
Topping must be carried out when the `tall grass' areas
greater than 25 per cent of the paddock area; but if this
is happening frequently it means you are under-grazing
If the tall grass area is 25 per cent in May, it will be 35
per cent to 40 per cent of the paddock in June because
of the fresh dung deposited during this grazing. Tall
grass is grass around dung pads and other under grazed
areas. It will be getting nitrogen and not be eaten
imagine the financial loss from this.
New Zealand experimental work has shown that
topping is preferable to pre-mowing.
Finally, keep the benefits in mind. There is a potential
extra 500 litres of milk per cow free of charge if
grass quality can be maintained at a high level during
Remember, topping will not be necessary if you graze
`tightish' and graze at the correct pre-grazing cover
(PGC) for your stocking rate.
· Hence, the use of the Grass Wedge will save you
topping money/time and insure quality grass.
· For example, at a stocking rate of 4.7 cows/Ha,
the target pre-grazing cover
· Stocking Rate X Allowance X Rotation Length +
Residual = 4.7 x 17 x 21 + 50 = 1,730 kg DM/Ha.
· The target pre-grazing yields increase as the
stocking rate increases (and declines as it falls).