LIC | Be prepared for the new Spring season

Be prepared for the new spring season

Spring flowersIt has been an interesting start to spring with a large difference in grass growth between areas with some regions affected by high amounts of rainfall. It has certainly shown the benefit of having a plan for the start of calving and sticking where possible, to it.

On a positive side, there should be some very good grass quality for the next round and this will be beneficial in the lead up to mating.  We also need to make sure that the quantity side of the feed supply is not compromised and regular farm walks and appropriate pasture management will help reach these targets.

Even with the potential increase in milk price there is a real need to maximize the grass growth and then the utilization of this to ensure the most efficient farm system is employed on farm. Any surplus now will also be used for the likely feed deficit in the summer.  In the short term the main focus on farm is the mating season. There are a number of KPIs that need to be reached to ensure the maximum days in milk before Christmas.

Start by reviewing this seasons calving spread.

When was the mean calving (half way point) achieved?  

Best practice is for this to be 14-17 days after the start of calving. 

If the calving spread is strung out then what are the plans to try and tighten up the calving for next season?

Firstly information is key. All the cows should be tail painted to identify any non-cycling cows.

What then of this group needs intervention?

Intervention can be preferential feeding or OAD milking or using CIDRs. Consider only the younger higher BW cows receiving expensive interventions.

Bulls should be in the yearling mob up to 1 week before the planned start of mating to ensure a quick start for next calving. Make sure that any trace element deficiencies are identified and treated and a cow condition score done.

Do not compromise the mating season. Next year’s profit depends on it.

By James Thomas - FarmWise Consultant


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