NOVEMBER 2018 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com Price around for value for money meal, Cows, incalf heifers and weanlings in good BCS or on weight targets (you must weigh to get this info) being fed good silage need no meals, • Consider using no dry cow treatment on cows with SCC’s of less than 100,000 – good practice as antibiotics may be restricted in a few years. • Sell off cull cows immediately, X Farmers usually spend extra at this time to reduce tax bills, but because tax payment will be less of a problem than usual, spending on the following should be curtailed: • Most forward buying of fertilisers, meals, dairy and veterinary products, • All capital investments should be ‘put on hold’. X It is now a good time to update your farm financial plan for next year: • Update it • For all 2019 inputs, estimate the quantity you require, then get three price quotations and order the cheapest. Then complete your cash flow plan, having updated 2018 first. X Assemble your Dairy Profit Monitor now so as to competently plan your way through 2019. » » Management Hints YOU CAN OVERCOME WINTER FEED ISSUES: X Winter feed will be an issue for many farmers this winter, but by rationing present roughage stocks, farmers will be able to get by. • Calculate the number of number of kgs of roughage dry matter (DM) you have – get your adviser to help you. • Compare with the amount of silage you require and ask yourself how you can make up the shortfall? • You must also get the silage analysed for minerals and DMD and DM, because there is no point in waiting to half way through the winter to realise the silage is bad because the animals are too thin. X Table 2 outlines the meal feeding levels required when minimum levels of roughage are fed due to shortage; • With moderate quality straw, the roughage level has been reduced to 0.8% of liveweight, • It is important that the required meal feeding be spread evenly over the whole dry period. Attempting to feed all the meals in the last couple of weeks before calving will lead to bigger calves, difficult calving’s and no real weight gain. • A crude protein level in the meal of 12-14% will be adequate on the hay and silage but will need to be 53