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APRIL 2019
Management Hints
Define the issues you have to address in April.
Make a cow/heifer breeding plan for 2019
Put the time and organisation into identifying
cows on heat.
Match your best cows to best AI bulls on Sire
Heifers MUST be synchronised.
Poor EBI herds should Contract Mate Heifer
calves for 2020.
Put yourself in control: Do a grassland
management plan now.
Actively manage the 2nd grazing rotation,
because "grass grows grass".
April is by far the best month to reseed use
best varieties on PPI list.
By Matt Ryan
In 2018, over 49 per cent of all replacements entering
the dairy herd were by stock bulls. Crazy! Why?
These cows will be 70-100 per cow less
profitable per year than the average AI bred cow.
The average national EBI was 87, while the Top 10 per
cent of farmers was 125. Farmers using AI, used bulls with
an average EBI of 225, whereas, Teagasc advised using
280. It isn't as if the bulls weren't there because the Top
10 per cent of farmers used bulls with EBI's of 279.
In the emissions debate we are saying that because of EBI
we have an efficient cow. If we don't do something very
positive soon on EBI this argument "won't hold water".
In 2018 there was 3-8 c/l difference in milk price
between some suppliers. Why?
Because of the difference of % F & P between
In 2018 the 6-week calving rate was 63 per cent - target
is 90 per cent for one of the two key KPIs of dairy
farming. A loss of 170 million to the industry per year.
Advisory agencies and Co-Ops must make a
concerted effort to address this loss. Each dairy
farmers must address the personal loss.
The 2018 data also shows that only 64 per cent of
replacements entered the dairy herd at 22-26 months
of age. This is the most efficient/beneficial age to
maximise life-time yield. Over 99 per cent of the top
farmers bring them in at 1 year and 11 months old.
Poor calf rearing/management with no
commitment to meeting heifer targets
throughout the year.
Grass will be tight in April, resulting in more meal
being fed and very little ground being closed up for 1st
silage until May. Solution -
Make a grassland management plan for 2019.
Make a grass feed budget for April.
Decide on your MSD (mating start date) based on your
targeted median calving date for 2020 and the number of
days from start of calving to median calving date in 2020.
Based on Research the following mean calving dates are
South (dry land):
14th February (most cows
incalf by 7th May)
North (or wet land): 24th February (most cows
incalf by 18th May)
The target number of days from start of calving to
median calving date is 15-20 days:
The median calving date is that day when 50 per
cent (half) of the cows have calved,
Look up your own on the ICBF site for your herd
for 2019.
Then, subtract your days from the target median
calving date in 2020, to help you decide on the
A farmer targeting a median calving date of 20th Feb
2017 should follow this plan:
20 April (-10days); Tail paint all cows red and
record heats
23 April (-6 days): MSD for heifers Tail paint and
serve for next 6 days.
29 April (-2 days): PG all heifers not served. Bull
as they show heat.
30 April (-1day): New paint colour on all cows
that have shown heat.
1 May (0 day): Mating Start Day for cows.
11 May (+11 days): Vet examines all non-cycling
cows (Red Paint),
4 June: Scan all cows that have been served 28
days or greater,
11 June: Scan all cows that have been served 28
days or greater,
18 June: Scan all cows that have been served 28
days or greater,
10 June: Introduce beef stock or preferably,
continue AI with beef bull
22 June: Finish serving cows.
This plan will help you achieve the thee-week 90 per
cent submission target and the 90 per cent six-week
calving target next spring.
To deliver compact calving and avoid losing a missed
heat (cost 70-100) you should identify non-cycling
cows as early in breeding season as possible.
Cows with difficult calvings, uterine discharges,
cows with twins, or other problems will be slow to
go in calf and will need to be examined, but only
after they have been given sufficient time to "heal".
Some farmers give PG or a wash out to these or
late calvers to get them cycling.
That's why I suggest 20th April tail paint (red paint)
all calved cows; only 10 days before Mating Start Date
(MSD)and getting the Vet to examine non-cycling cows
(have red pain) on 11th May (11 days into breeding
Problem cows have 11 days longer to "heal",
The farmer has 11 days less heat detection
Dairy Digest
210mm high by 148mm wide
Using DAFM's online facility
can be benefi cial for you
You can apply for a range of Department's schemes online at
and avail of the many benefi ts
Apply online for your BPS and other scheme payments
Register your calf births
Record animal events
Update your contact details (mobile/email/eircode)
View and maintain your herd profi le
Help-assisted form fi llings
Eliminati on of errors at start avoid delays
Securely view your fi nancial statements
Help Videos
How to register with agfood on-line Services Accounts facility?
Register for access to this system at
- To register for this system, keepers
in additi on to personal data, will require their PPSN number, email address, phone number,
and date of birth. A PAC number will then issue by post.
Queries regarding registrati on or to obtain a new password (where you have
already signed up) can be made to the agfood Help Desk on
0761 064424
or by email to the HELPDESK at
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