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49
APRIL
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Dairy Focus
APRIL
Dairy Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
% Heifers calved at 22-26
months of age
Nearly 100 per cent of all my clients
are calving down their heifers at
one year and 11 months old. Two-
year-old calving heifers last longer in
herd and milk more in their lifetime
than 3 year old heifers. In all of the
Co-Op areas only 64 per cent of all
dairy replacements calved at 22-26
months of age, ranging from 42 per
cent in LacPatrick to 75 per cent in
Tipperary. The Top 10% achieved
nearly 100 per cent in all Co-Op
areas.
Strengths and weaknesses
Our strengths are that we now have
a very good system of identifying
where we are genetically and what
is happening on the ground.
Many farmers have adopted
genetic practices that will benefit
themselves and the country. On
the weakness side we can say that
there is a lot more to do and it
leaves some farmers very vulnerable
to milk price and costs volatility
while also adversely a ecting dairy
farmers' status in the "emissions"
debate. Every situation presents
opportunities and with the EBI
system in place, compared with
our international competitors, and
the fact that many farmers are
achieving the genetic targets, we are
in a good place to make progress.
The big threats are emission
requirements, milk price and cost
volatility. The whole industry will be
under pressure if all dairy farmers
don't adopt the practices that
enhance dairy farmers' status in the
community.
I am 50 years giving advice to dairy
farmers and you could conclude,
based on the figure that 49 per
cent of all heifers entering the dairy
herd are by Stock Bulls, that I and
the Advisory service have failed
miserably.
Recommendations
It behoves everyone in the dairy
industry to commit to achieving the
genetic goals that enhance the long
term status of our dairy industry.
ICBF and Teagasc have the proven
research. It must now be actively
and aggressively promoted by the
Advisory Services of Teagasc, private
consultants, DAFM and Co-Ops.
Most Co-Ops have and are doing
a lot but by comparison with most
advice agencies they have the
opportunity of a `carrot and stick'
and must consider that approach.
Whether that be a bonus for milk
recording; a reward for using high
EBI bulls or greater penalties for milk
that is not the quality required.
Advice agencies, while doing farm
walks and group work achieves
the adoption of practice for some
farmers, I think that many farmers are
struggling with computer skills to do
the sire advice on the ICBF site. And
the new version where one need to
identify the best and worst cows (a
must do task!) and match them to the
appropriate AI bull is challenging for
many good farmers. Advisers should
do this for their clients over the next
4-6 weeks it will take approx, one
hour per 100 cow farmer to do.
The DAFM should make a mandatory
module in the Knowledge Transfer
discussion group project embracing
improved cow fertility management
and the use of AI bulls all easily
measured through ICBF data base."
"We only have only 4-6 weeks to
ensure that cows entering the dairy
herd in 2021 are far superior to those
entering now and fit for purpose for
the environment that lies ahead.
HIGH TRACE
BOLUS
Can help prevent problems with
health and fertility
High levels of copper
High level of cobalt and selenium
compared to other boluses
Delivers more trace
elements for longer
One bolus treatment for cows
under 550kg for 6 months
CONSISTENT
TRACE ELEMENT
AMOUNT
RELEASED
Available with & without Copper
Easy to Use
4 Months Cover
1 Bolus per administration
Qualifies for the Sheep
Welfare Scheme
Also available in the range
www.cahl.ie
T: + 353 (0)59 915 1251
Nutribio Mastervet/Ovitop ad 126x160 v1.indd 1
11/10/2017 12:43