Archive March 2020
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ICBF recently published the article below detailing the top 10 AI bulls used in 2019 based on data recorded on the ICBF database but also via our AI technicians handhelds, and farm apps like HerdApp, as it happens all sires in the top 10 are Progressive Genetics Bulls (Munster Bovine or Ireland Genetics - dependent on area). It's always good to look back before looking forward particularly with the 2020 breeding season on the horizon.
The total number first and repeat serves recorded in 2019 was 855,859, approx. 6% ahead of 2018. The sires in Table 1 make up 33% of all dairy serves. Their level of usage suggests that farmers are opting for high EBI Genomic Sires when selecting bulls for the breeding season and using the index to drive genetic gain thus maximising profitability through genetics.
In this episode of ‘George goes dairy farming’, George Beattie caught up with Co. Wexford native at the end of January, Gordon Hemmingway, just before ‘silly season’ kicked off on his farm.
Gordon, who milks a herd of 180 cows under a spring-calving system, farms just outside Enniscorthy with his father, Austin, and farm worker, Paddy.
In terms of performance, last year 576kg of milk solids were produced per cow, with a six-week calving rate of 83% (as it stands for this spring, Gordon has calved 57% in three weeks). The calving interval stood at 370 days and the herd has an average EBI of €146.
However, 180 cows was not always the magic number.
As you are aware the spread of the coronavirus has been gaining some momentum across the country and we have now moved from the containment phase to the delayed phase. First of all it is important that we all play our part in helping to prevent the spread of the virus by observing the hygiene protocols such as frequent washing of hands, limited human contact etc. All staff & technicians have been issued with instructions
During this difficult time and ever-evolving situation, as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know that Progressive Genetics is taking a prudent approach while remaining committed to you, our customer.
We will continue to serve you in whatever capacity possible, whilst maintaining the health and safety of your operation, your employees and our staff. All of our staff have been issued with a standard operating procedure designed to protect staff, customers and the general public, as directed by the HSE.
We have made the decision to temporarily suspend our manual milk recording service until the 30th March 2020, the EDIY milk recording service will continue.
Our breeding advisors will continue deal with customers either by pre-arranged visit (if required) adhering to strict hygiene protocols or remotely via phone (or other digital means). Our AI Technicians will continue to visit farms, as will our delivery and our nitrogen servicing drivers.
We would be grateful if you could please alert us immediately if you yourself, a member of the farm household or farm staff has a confirmed or suspected case of Corona Virus or is in self-isolation, ideally we would ask that you would use one of these three preferred methods of contact, contact your local Progressive Genetics Representative, call the call centre on 1850 20 20 50 or email Emma Behan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with HSE guidelines if any of our staff develop any symptoms they will immediately self-isolate. The welfare of our staff and customers, and that of their families, is the top priority.
In these unprecedented times we will continue to review and update all our customers, but if we can help you in any way please do not hesitate to contact your local Progressive Genetics representative.
Thank you for your support and co-operation in these extraordinary times.
(PDF version of this article here)
Traditionally many herds bred to dairy AI in the first part of the breeding season and then switched to all beef once enough replacements were expected, however with the use of high EBI genetics over the years, the 6-week calving rate has risen year-on-year. This changes the dynamic and allows for a change of strategy.
Kenneth Bray, Kentucky Kid HE2043 calf.
Using beef from the start of breeding
When the 6-week calving rate is high you can use beef AI early in the season and still have all your dairy replacements born in the first 6 weeks of calving, allowing for increased calf value. This means you can selectively breed problem cows, lower EBI cows etc. in the herd to beef.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
As a precautionary measure and part of the national effort to minimise the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and to protect both herdowners and A.I company staff and contractors the following protocols are being implemented for the AI Technician service.
Our AI service will continue operatingas normally as possible under the HSE hygiene guidelines.
Eddie O'Byrne is one of our dedicated 150 AI Technicians on the road.
Now that the bulk of calving is over the focus will quickly shift to preparing for the upcoming breeding season. At a time where farmers are considering Sire Advice & bull selection it is also a good to keep a record of the cows activity.
Breeding season is a busy time for farmers. Recording serves is a process that can be streamlined. This is key to Lean Farming as it simplifies the workflow.
All this information in your pocket and access it immediately!
Are you making the most of milk recording?
AgriNet HerdApp won't quite tell you when you need to milk record but it will have the results easily displayed as soon as you get the text with your 5 highest cell count cows. Some of you may be used to recieving print outs in the post in the past. These print outs were highly anticapated, studied in detail on arrival & then left somewhere with the rest of the post. Then after the next recording we go through the same process again.
Imagine having access to ALL your milk recording data ALL the time on your phone, enter AgriNet HerdApp which has ALL of that.
How many times have you gone looking for your cows due dates or spent time figuring out what cows were not bred yet?
Thanks to a live link between ICBF and AgriNet HerdApp all your herd information is easily available on your phone. Calving date, facility to record a heat, serve date, due pregnancy test date, calving date & dry date. All these dates update as soon as data is entered.