1,100/month use COW ser­vice from Herd­plus

Irish Examiner - Farming - - TECHNOLOGY FOCUS - Stephen Cado­gan

More than 1,100 her­down­ers used ICBF’S COW (Cow’s Own Worth) ser­vice in Septem­ber, the lat­est month for which sta­tis­tics are avail­able. Ac­cord­ing to ICBF, there has been “vast up­take in use”, and the Ir­ish Cat­tle Breed­ing Fed­er­a­tion’s Herd­plus team was cel­e­brat­ing again in Oc­to­ber, when their COW was awarded the sil­ver award in the science cat­e­gory of the Na­tional Dairy In­no­va­tion Awards at the Na­tional Dairy Show in Mill­street.

Less than a year ago, COW was added to the suite of ser­vices de­liv­ered through Herd­plus. The 20,000 in­di­vid­ual on­line hits since then show just how much dairy farm­ers, in­clud­ing peo­ple from the breed­ing in­dus­try, value COW. It can rank dairy cows within the herd on their ex­pected profit per­for­mance for the re­main­der of their life­time, by col­lat­ing read­ily avail­able data in the ICBF data­base. There­fore, COW aids in mak­ing more prof­itable man­age­ment de­ci­sions, by eas­ily iden­ti­fy­ing un­der­per­form­ing cows within the herd.

As a re­sult, farm­ers can make bet­ter in­formed daily man­age­ment de­ci­sions on culling and re­ten­tion of an­i­mals.

COW has been par­tic­u­larly help­ful in the cow culling de­ci­sions nec­es­sary af­ter the chal­lenges this year of fod­der short­ages and drought con­di­tions. Many vis­i­tors to the Herd­plus stand at the Na­tional Dairy Show had used COW dur­ing and af­ter the drought cri­sis.

COW in­cludes a dis­play of valid rea­son­ings as to why cer­tain can­di­dates would be con­sid­ered for culling. For ex­am­ple, cows now ranked at the bot­tom of the list are usu­ally cows with late ex­pected calving dates for 2019, or which had SCC is­sues from the past and/or on-go­ing SCC is­sues, or cows with low milk solids, etc.

One of the key fac­tors to en­sure the user gets the best from a COW pro­file is to keep records up-to-date.

Milk record­ing in­for­ma­tion is au­to­mat­i­cally retrieved from the ICBF data­base, so no ac­tion is re­quired by the farmer, how­ever, the onus is on the farmer to keep fer­til­ity and health records as rel­e­vant as pos­si­ble when plan­ning on iden­ti­fy­ing cows to cull. For ex­am­ple, the last AI serve on a cow will be used in COW to pre­dict her next calving date and rank her against her herd mates ac­cord­ingly.

A sub­se­quent preg­nancy di­ag­no­sis might ver­ify the last serve date or in­val­i­date it, in which case the COW pro­file would re-rank this cow, based on the new in­for­ma­tion pro­vided. COW is in­stan­ta­neous, and re-ranks the herd “live”. There­fore, the farmer has a more ac­cu­rate pic­ture of cows’ ex­pected prof­itabil­ity.

Erin Kennedy and Dan O’rior­dan, Herd­plus.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.