John Barry April Update
Have you your replacement heifers and appropriate bulls picked for breeding?
- Set breeding start and end dates
- Select easy calving bulls for heifers that have >80% reliability
- Consider TB resistance when selecting bulls if it is an issue in the area
Weigh cattle to see how they performed over winter
- Did store cattle that were housed meet the target of 0.6 kg/day?
- How did the out wintered cattle compare to this?
- If targets weren’t met, how could this be improved for next winter?
- Measure grass to monitor grass covers on the farm
- Silage ground should be closed up and fertilised
- Spread lime on grazing ground where required
John will be starting to AI his spring calving herd on 2nd May. He will AI for 8 weeks and use the Charolais bull to mop up. Breeding should finish in mid-July to give a 10 week calving spread which will start around 14th February until mid/late April 2023.
The heifers will be AI’d to an easy calving Angus bull (ZEP) who is 3.2% heifer calving difficulty at 96% reliability. The heifer calves would have potential to be kept as replacements.
The Charolais type cows (~9) will be AI’d to SI4147 (Curaheen Gunshot) who is 7.6% cow calving difficulty, 9.7kg daughter milk, -4.71 days on daughter calving interval and is €196 on the replacement index.
The Limousin type cows will be AI’d to CH4159 (Knockmoyle10 Loki ET) who is 6.5% calving difficulty, 35.7kg carcass weight, 2.44 on carcass conformation and is €164 on the terminal index. CH5932 (Bud Orpheus) will also be used and has a cow calving difficulty of 10.1%, carcass weight of 45.7kg, a carcass conformation of 2.07 and is €145 on the terminal index. John has also chosen BB4438 (An De Beauffaux) who has a cow calving difficulty of 9.3%, carcass weight of 28.1kg, carcass conformation of 2.66 and is €121 on the terminal index.
John is concerned about TB in the area and as there is a genetic component to it which is available for the AI bulls, the details are as follows:
- ZEP is in the top 10% for TB resistance
- SI4147 and BB4438 are in the top 30% for TB resistance
- CH4159 has average resistance
- CH5932 is in the bottom 30% for TB resistance
Three 2020 born heifers were sold live on 8th April. They averaged 605kg and made an average price of €1790 (€2.96/kg).
John sold 2 bullocks through the local mart on 22nd April. One CHX bullock was born in March 2020 and made €1780 for 605 kg (€2.94/kg). The BBX bullock was born in December 2020 and weighed 500kg and made €1470 (€2.94/kg).
The 2021 autumn born heifers (18) were weighed on the 8th of April and averaged 242kg, having gained 0.99 kg/day since their previous weighing on 22nd January. They will be weaned in July/August. The bulls (15) averaged 239kg, having gained 0.9 kg/day since their previous weighing on 22nd January. They will be weaned in July/August.
The 2021 spring born bulls (5) were weighed on 2nd April and averaged 615kg, having gained 1.42 kg/day since the previous month. The bullocks (6) averaged 420kg on 21st April, having gained 0.44 kg/day since their previous weighing on 21st December. The heifers (25) averaged 390kg, having gained 0.44 kg/day since their previous weighing in December.
The out wintered 2020 autumn born bullocks (2) averaged 499kg, having gained 0.66 kg/day over the winter period since 3rd December. The heifers (13) averaged 488kg, having gained 0.63 kg/day over the winter period since 3rd December.
The 2020 spring born heifers averaged (5) averaged 540kg, having gained 0.63 kg/day over the winter period since 3rd December.
John comfortably started his second rotation on the third week of April and went back into covers of 1400 kg DM/ha. He measured grass on 19th April and had an average farm cover of 979 kg DM/ha. He had a growth rate of 15 kg DM/ha and a demand of 34 kg DM/ha, with 29 days of grass ahead. As this is quite high, it is likely that John will be choosing paddocks to cut for silage when he completes his next grass walk.
Lime has been spread on 5 paddocks that needed it according to the soil sample results at a rate of 2t/acre.
The silage ground has gotten slurry (~21 units N per acre) and this will be topped up with protected urea (52 units N per acre).
The grazing ground has been spread with around 22 units of protected urea per acre.