PAWS FOR THOUGHT
scan and see what’s in-calf for next year. Talking to farmers it seems there is a mixed bag of results.
Cows have milked exceptionally well this year, holding peak yields for what seemed six weeks to two months this spring on certain farms.
Past research has proven milk yield to be inversely related to fertility so potentially this has had some part to play, but as with all biological systems one person’s results may have a multitude of influences quite different to the next.
If you are concerned about your results a few questions can identify where the slippage has been: ÷ What was your three-week submission rate to AI? ÷ What percentage of the non-cyclers were late calvers (April onwards)? ÷ What was the non-return rate of the herd at six weeks (percentage of cows submitted in week 1-3 NOT returning to service) or if you’ve scanning data, your conception rate being percentage AI’d in week 1-3 scanned in-calf ÷ Did you have adequate bull power on farm and were the bulls working effectively? ÷ How long did you mate for?
Having assessed your scanning results, ask yourself: ÷ Does the number of cows and heifers scanned in-calf satisfy the number of cows minus wastage that you hope to milk in 2018? ÷ What are your plans for empty and surplus cows?
Mary Kinston is a discussion group facilitator and consultant and farms with her husband in Co Kerry
Albert Raid from Seaforde, Co Down at the Knockbridge Co Louth vintage show on Sunday.