Archive March 2018
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Unfortunately due to the adverse weather conditions our offices in Kylemore Road & Enfield are closed. We are unable to gain access to the AI call Centre in Enfield so no AI calls can be logged. The AI Technicians in certain areas may be in a position to give a service subject to the weather conditions in their area and if necessary you should contact your local AI technician directly.The health and safety of our staff is paramount so nobody should take any unnecessary risks.
A listing of the AI Technicians and their respective areas are listed here: https://www.progressivegenetics.ie/location
If you have a Milk Recording query please contact Jackie on 086-3413182
‘I’m a woman in a man’s world’: Cattle breeding advisor
This piece by Caroline Allen, recently featured on Agriland, here.
“I’m a woman in a man’s world,” acknowledges Deirdre Toal who is a cattle breeding advisor with Progressive Genetics.
“Although the number of women working for Progressive Genetics has increased since I joined, the AI (Artificial Insemination) industry is still predominantly male. This doesn’t bother me at all,” said the Roscommon native.
You will meet an odd farmer who will question what a woman would know about farming, but they are very few and far between. Once you have confidence in yourself and your product, people will have confidence in you.
“I enjoy my work in the AI industry. I enjoy being out and about and meeting people. When you are in a job 16 years you get to know a lot of people and you get to know families. In some cases, I’m now dealing with the next generation of farmers coming on,” Deirdre said.
“Genetics and cattle breeding have always been of interest to me. I love to visit a farm and see progeny from bulls I advised the farmer to use and see the positive impact they have had on his herd.”
Down Slaneyside, Patrick Fortune milks 150 spring-calving cows on his family’s farm just outside Adamstown, Co. Wexford. His Holstein Friesian herd has an average EBI (Economic Breeding Index) of €116 – €30 ahead of the national average.
Robert Hovendon and Simon Cantwell, an uncle-and-nephew partnership in the making, farm on the best of ground just outside Durrow, Co. Laois.
Over the past 10 years, their herd has grown significantly – moving from 60 to over 140 cows – and they plan to milk 160-180 in the future.
Quota was a big limitation for Robert in the beginning, he said: “When quota started, we had one of our worst years ever and it kind of crippled us. I bought up more quota as the years went by and we eventually got up to 90 cows.”
Knowing the genetic merit of your herd is a key component to successfully improving traits of importance on your farm. The observed performance (e.g. 305 day milk yield) of an individual cow depends on two things:
a) the genetic merit of the cows
b) the environment in which she is performing
South of Nenagh, just over 100m above sea level, Jerry Moloney is now milking nearly 100 cows. This is up from 54 in 2010, when Jerry returned home after 10 years with Procter & Gamble.
Jerry explained: “I walked into the nuts and bolts of a very good farm.”
However, there were some areas that warranted improvement. The herd had “good fertility, but milk was poor”.
With the late spring there is a possibility of nutrition issues on farms now that could have an effect on conception rates during the coming breeding season. Negative energy balance 4-6 weeks before breeding can reduce conception rates.
Dairy Specialist Shane Leane has but together the below information which may be useful.
Low milk protein
- Low milk protein can be associated with a lack of energy in the diet of the dairy cow.
- Insufficient energy in the milking cow’s diet can result in low milk protein, low milk yields, poor fertility, poor immunity and susceptibility to disease and metabolic disorders as well as loss of body condition.
- Inadequate energy intake in early lactation can cause excessive loss of body condition and significantly impact the success of the breeding season. See graph below highlighting the influence of BCS on 3 week submission rate.
Monitoring milk protein
- Compare current milk protein percentages in the milk tank with the same time last year, use a 10 day average figure. Note when comparing figures with same time last year, account for changes in calving pattern and milk yield. If protein is more than 0.2% below same time as last year consider increasing energy intakes.
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