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The calving pattern on farms is what sets the top-performing herds apart from the lower-performing herds, in terms of maximising milk output from grazed grass.
Speaking at a recent breeding information event, Shane Leane – breeding advisor with Progressive Genetics – discussed why having a compact calving pattern is so important for your farm.
With the breeding season fast approaching on most farms, Progressive Genetics sat down with Shane Leane to find out what issues are on the minds of farmers at this critical time of year.
Shane has a PhD in dairy cow fertility and was manager of the Teagasc Curtins farm before joining Progressive Genetics.
A good deal of farmers have picked their bull teams for the coming season.
“EBI and milk solids are the main criteria more than ever,” according to Shane. Farmers are seeing the effects of breeding for better fertility through more cows calving in the first six weeks of the calving season.
Dr. Shane Leane PhD is part of the Progressive Genetics team, in the role of Dairy Specialist, Shane joined Progressive Genetics having completed a PhD in herd fertility, as well as having managed the Moorepark Curtins dairy herd. He has a wealth of knowledge in dairy systems, fertility management and crossbreeding.
Good fertility and compact calving are essential to maximise grass utilisation and farm profit. The target is to have 90% of the herd calved within 42 days from the planned start of calving and all cows calved by mating start date (MSD).
Progressive Genetics are supplying the Moocall HEATs, you can order from today (with a deposit). Moocall HEAT is a one stop shop heat detection system for the largest of dairy farms to small scale part-time suckler farms, Moocall HEAT is the complete package from the collar for the bull to the App: Breedmanager, this exciting new system has been designed for Irish farmers.
How does it work?
AgriNet’s HerdApp is now entering its second Spring on the market and already has thousands of Irish Farmers using the app. The true value of HerdApp is really coming to the fore, as HerdApp the New Standard in Farm Management Software, is enabling Irish farmers to farm smart, particularly as they start to prepare for a busy Spring.
Farmer feedback is really important to the AgriNet team, as is continued improvement of HerdApp, looking at the app as it stands currently, Cork dairy farmer Denis Finnegan of Lee Valley Farm (Herd pictured below at grass last June), says that HerdApp is "simple to use" has "excellent reports that you can multi filter on" and a "live link to ICBF which makes it easy to access your milk and EBI data". "I see it (HerdApp) as a management tool on the farm, it's a bonus that it does all your compliance as well!" (follow Denis on Twitter here).
While we think the greatest gift a farmer can get is profitable, trouble-free cattle, that is something they can work on themselves during breeding season. AS its Christmas there may be something a little more fitting out there:
The gift of less stress: HerdApp
HerdApp takes the stress out of calf registration, record keeping and Bord Bia inspections. You can order a gift subscription here
AgriNet HerdApp is The New Standard in Farm Apps
The stress and hassle of Bord Bia inspections can be easily avoided with the use of HerdApp from AgriNet. As mentioned previously HerdApp focuses on three main functions – Breeding & AI (which is sponsored by Progressive Genetics and completely free to all Irish farmers), Drugs & Farm reports.
Because HerdApp has a live link with ICBF, all data flows seamlessly throughout all devices associated with your herd number. This means, if you have a relief milker, calf rearer or general labourer on your farm you will always be compliant for inspections. It doesn’t matter who administers an injection to a sick calf, or batch doses the maiden heifers, everyone with access to the app can record these administrations and everyone else will know which animal has received remedies.
Heat stress is a real problem, particularly for stock bulls at the moment.
A report from Kentucky University states that: "Bulls Natural service is still utilized on many dairy farms. Therefore, the importance of maintaining fertility in bulls is important. Bulls can be heat stressed when exposed to temperatures of 80°F (26.7°C) for merely 6 hours a day and the effects can last 9 weeks or more after the heat stress.
Why use synchronisation programmes?
- Labour efficiency
- Potential improved reproductive performance
- Improved calving pattern
- Grazing Management
Can you change the time of day that cows/heifers calve?
Yes, by merely changing the time you feed your cows/heifers you can directly influence the time of calving. When you feed cows in the evening/night, you simply and most practically reduce the number of night-time calvings.
Progressive Genetics will be supplying the Moocall HEAT (as soon as they come available - early next year: January/February) but you can order from today (with a deposit). Moocall HEAT is a one stop shop heat detection system for the largest of dairy farms to small scale part-time suckler farms, Moocall HEAT is the complete package from the collar for the bull to the App: Breedmanager, this exciting new system has been designed for Irish farmers.
How does it work?
Antimicrobial resistance in an increasing problem across the world in both animal and human medicine. Check out this video with Glanbia's Vet Shane McElroy explaining the correct application of Selective Dry Cow Therapy and responsible targeted use of antibiotics helps reduce development of resistance, in a short concise 2 min 30 second video.
Progressive Genetics offer Ireland’s most complete and professional DIY Bovine AI Training Course with small groups, personal attention and highly experienced trainers.
There are many aids to detecting heat: tail paint; scratch cards; Kamar heat detectors; pedometers and movement collars.
But there is no substitute for the teaser bull, A teaser bull is one that has been vasectomised.
We now have Milk Pregnancy Kits for postage available, price per sample €3.60 plus postage with prices of postage ranging depending on the number of bottles posted etc. E.g. Price for 8 samples is €2.80, price for 9 to 23 is €3.50.
Plus results currently going out in post but will be available by text shortly!
Kits available from your local AI Technician or Salesperson!
Pregnancy Diagnosis from milk samples
1. Simple: uses milk sample (get kit off of local AI Technician or Salesperson or contact us directly)
2. Easy: No extra work
3. Effective: Comparable accuracy to scanning
4. Complements scanning and fits into a managed fertility programme.
5. Use from 28 days post breeding
More details here.
Ger Murphy is an AI technician (covering South Wexford Adamstown/Ballycullane/Hook/New Ross), Cow Scanner & Family man based in Clonroche, Wexford.
“For me there are three key parts to being the best AI man I can be after the actual AI’ing of the cow/heifer, they are:
- Time management
- Organisational management
- Customer Care
A normal day for me in April, May & June starts at 7.00 am, drop my kids to the bus at 7.50 am and then I start AI straight away as I would already have calls in.
Gareth Davies, NSch, Grassland Consultant & the face of Ireland Genetics UK (NCBC).
On Wednesday this week I joined an estimated 13,000 other people at the latest Moorepark open day. The first thing that strikes you is the fantastic organisation of the day, and it would be wrong of me not to congratulate all concerned for their considerable effort.
Beef Data Genomic Programme (BDGP) 2015-2020
The new BDGP has been to the front of farming news recently. The BDGP will run for six years, all farmers who sign up will be required to complete actions for the full six years. There are 6 main requirements as part of the BDGP: Calving details, Surveys, Genotyping, Replacement strategy, Carbon Navigator & Training.
Replacement strategy – two requirements
- Artificial Insemination (AI) Use (General)
- Producing Replacement Females Genotyped 4 & 5 Star Replacement (Across Breeds)
Carrowreagh Honduras - ZCH - Replacement Index - €236 - 5 Star Replacement across breeds:
A short video (3 minutes) on Artifical Insemination:
by Ag Science teacher James Gilmartin teaching in Magh Ene College in Bundoran on Artificial Insemination - featuring AI man Ciaran McTiernan inseminating a Black Whitehead Heifer:
Sire Used: Lennon Frosty - FTY
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