PAWS FOR THOUGHT

Irish Independent - Farming - - FARM OUR -

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

PHOTO: DAVID CONACHY

Al­bert Raid from Seaforde, Co Down at the Knock­bridge Co Louth vin­tage show on Sun­day.

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