PREPARING FOR WINTER MILK PRODUCTION IN 2018

The morning and evening hum of milking parlours harvesting milk from daily herds has ceased for a six week period. There are exceptions to this scenario but unfortunately they are akin to locating the corncrake in many areas of Southern Ireland. Winter milk production systems are now primarily based in Northern Ireland with small pockets […]

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HOUSING MANAGEMENT OF THE DAIRY HERD

The persistent wet weather over the past two months has resulted in an early winter housing period for many beef and dairy farmers. This scenario is more prevalent on heavy soil types in North Kerry, West Limerick, West Clare and counties Cavan, Leitrim and Donegal.  There are knock on implications for dairy herd management bearing […]

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PREPARING FOR A WINTER FORAGE CRISIS

The inclement weather for the past 2 months with seasonally high temperatures in October has created an impending fodder crisis in many areas of Ireland. Dairy herds have been housed by night and indeed by day in many parts of North Kerry, Clare and Galway for the past six weeks. Grass growth rates have been […]

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AVAIL OF INCREASED MILK PRICE WHILE MAINTAINING DAIRY HERD HEALTH

The dairy industry is currently experiencing a robust period of market stability and enhanced period of demand for milk products. The tide has turned in favour of butter as a “healthy” food.  Promotion of demand for butter has recently been enhanced by McDonalds who have included butter on the “menu”. As milk price at the […]

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Optimise your future in dairying

This time of year is the least labour intensive on dairy farms. Getting relief milkers is one of the biggest challenges in getting time out for a hurling or football match in Dublin or a holiday before the winter sets in.  Farmers consider it farcical that the dairy industry needs for labour can be met […]

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The Challenges of Dairy Herd Expansion

Dairy herd size in grass based milk production systems has increased significantly in the past five years. This expansion has brought with it many unforeseen challenges. Milk quota, farm fragmentation and structure of grazing platforms have in the past restricted the opportunity to increase herd size. Land sales and age of inter generation transfers are […]

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ENSURING YOUR COWS STAY IN CALF

This is a critical stage of the breeding season, the seeds have been sown to establish next year’s calf crop. The challenge now is to ensure these seeds germinate, establish a firm rooting system and create a branched network of life within the womb of the cow.  This latter analogy is easily visualised when you […]

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ACCURATE HEAT DETECTION KEY TO OPTIMAL REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE

Breeding programmes for spring calving dairy herds have now begun on all farms. This period literally sows the seeds for both the next generation of replacements and the calving pattern for next spring.  It is essential that a primary focus is placed on accurate heat detection where AI will be used to get cows in […]

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PREPARING FOR SPRING AI SEASON

Grass based spring calving programmes are nearing an end. Cows remaining to calve are in my opinion high risk pregnancies.  These cows cause the greatest health issues in the dry cow and fresh cow transition periods.  The late calving group is associated with a previous history of impaired reproductive performance linked to a combination of […]

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HEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME IS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE AUTUMN CALVING

Breeding programmes for autumn calving herds will end by the 10th of March.  This pertains primarily in the South of Ireland.  However, dairy farms in the North will continue breeding through the month of March.  It is difficult to understand why farmers would not reduce their workload over the Christmas period. Unfortunately, we are currently […]

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