each milking and then remove to the house. They
will eat 95 per cent of their grass allowance in this
period if they come out with a "sharpness" to their
Follow all other recommended practices for grazing
in difficult conditions.
To meet the new environmental requirements,
precision management of grazing must be practiced.
"On off grazing involves bringing in the cows twice
per day but at a totally different time (3 hours after let
out) to our usual times.
This "bringing-in" time can be made sociable by
milking at 7.00 in the morning and again at 3.00 in the
This means that the cows will be able to be brought in
off the paddocks at 7.00 7.30 in late evening. They will
just have finished that "bout" of grazing and won't have
done any walking damage.
Never, ever let cows out when it is raining and always
bring them in when it starts to rain as they do a lot more
walking in the rain, and consequently more poaching.
Use the weather forecast to plan `let-out' times. It might
be raining in the morning but the forecast might tell you
it will be dry in the afternoon. Therefore, wait to let out
and don't give them any silage.
I am not a fan of spreading slurry with a vacuum tanker
because of the wheel compaction damage it does to the
soil.Use the umbilical system with a `trailed and shoe'
This is necessary because with the "new" grazing wedge
system there is always grass of varying heights on the
farm. Spreading slurry on grass greater than 600-
700kgs DM causes huge losses due to rotting.
Reduce tax bill by planning
Your accountant is key to achieving this goal because in a
reasonably good year higher taxes may have to be paid.
You must bring your accounts up-to-date and talk to
your accountant. He will project forward and inform you
of your likely tax bill for 2019.
If it going to be high you can consider investments that
will pay in the future. Such as:
Spread lime and extra P & K to increase soil Indices
to 4. This will give 150 per cent return on investment
in the future,
Improve grazing infra-structures, such as roadways,
fencing, and water supply to paddocks for a 58 per
cent return on the investment.
Pay off all bills in current year.
Can you make s contribution towards you pension?
Can you set-aside a "rainy day" fund you see how
beneficial that was in the Greenfield Site.
If short of slurry, housing accommodation, milking
units (1 for every 8 cows is required) or calf
accommodation consider the investment.
Consider forward buying some of the big "inputs"
, such as fertiliser, meal, mineral and dairy
requirements, for 2020 before year end, having got
2-3 quotations for each.
Replacements heifer management
Replacement heifer management revolves around their
actual weights relative to targets (Table 2)
(37 % cow Wt.)
(77 % of cow)
Holstein X Nor. Red
Holstein X Jersey
Table 2: Target weights (kg) for Replacement Weanling and Incalf Heifers in October.
Replacement heifer calves should get 1 1.5 kgs meal (16-
18 per cent P) so as to meet target weights on 1st April.
All animals below target weights must be taken away
from main mob and given priority treatment.
For every 20kg animals are below target they will need
to be fed an extra 100kgs meal (16+ per centP).
It must be remembered that animals that are much
greater than target weights are also a liability as they
will underperform when milking and will be culled out
of the herd sooner. Therefore, no meal to them!
Small in-calf heifers need 1-2 kgs meal (12-14 per cent
P). Otherwise they will calve down too light, resulting in
450 litres lower milk yields for every 50 kgs below target
weight at calving. Fewer of them will go in-calf during
the first 3 weeks of breeding in 2020.
If you haven't scanned yet do so now and sell off heifers
that are not in-calf.
If more than 7-8 per cent are not incalf ask yourself;
Have you inject cows and heifers for Salmonella to
If any weanlings show symptoms of hoose (coughing),
stomach worms (sticky dung on tail head) or fluke
(scouring + other signs) have them treated as they will
not maximise weight gain.
This same advice has to be applied if checking up on
your heifers that are reared by contract.
Analyse soil & feed
Silage should be analysed now both for DMD and
The DMD will inform you now as to your feeding
programme for the winter advantages are obvious!
The mineral analysis will identify the mineral status of
40-50 per cent of the grass on your farm in May/June,
and will alert you as to the minerals that may deficient
in your silage for winter and the grassland in April-May.,
Consult your Vet as to the necessary animal test;
but they will be dung samples, blood samples and
milk samples so that you can plan the various dosing
Take soil samples, so that you can build up soil Indices to
3 and 4.
Habitats on dairy farms?
At the Moorepark Open Day Daire O hUllachain made
some points that should be considered by dairy farmers.
Why biodiversity in land management?
Plants; result in nitrogen fixing,