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Dairy Newsletter - August 2021

This month's Dairy Newsletter includes information on: Why August wins championships; A good time to review your work routine; Costs and solutions to lameness issues; Signpost – climate actions for August; and Health & Safety - Beware of moving machinery.

View it here: Teagasc Dairy Newsletter - August 2021 (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Why August wins championships
    It’s often said that championship wins are forged in January when training begins on the dark, cold and wet nights. The preparation reaps reward in the late summer and early autumn. The opposite is true for grazing. The grazing championship begins in August with the planning and building up of grass while growth rates are still strong. This is the first piece of the autumn grazing management challenge.
  • A good time to review your work routine
    This month is usually the time for having a well-earned break from the busy operation of the farm. Taking some time off is its own reward, but is also very important for work efficiency, because it allows for a renewal of energy and enthusiasm as autumn approaches. Use this quieter period to review work practices with the objective of identifying areas for improved efficiencies.
  • Costs and solutions to lameness issues
    The cost of dairy cow lameness could be up to €300 per case, not to mention reduced animal welfare and the hassle factor of lame cows. Work carried out by Moorepark showed a lameness rate of 4% in spring and over 7% in autumn, but with a large range across herds. Cows with problems in the spring were 10 times more likely to re-appear as lame in the autumn.
  • Signpost – climate actions for August
    1. - August is a good month to sort grazing infrastructure to increase days at grass, if your capital expenditure budgets allow. 
    2. - Extra grazing days in the autumn are achieved by building grass cover during August. 
    3. - Spread 20-25kg nitrogen (N)/ha using protected urea in the last two weeks of August when you get the best response in grass growth. 
    4. - Empty your slurry tanks. 
    5. - If feeding ration with grass only – feed maximum 14% crude protein (CP) for dairy cows. 
    6. - Check milk recording and bulk herd health screening reports for issues that need to be resolved. 
  • Health & Safety - Beware of moving machinery
    August is harvest month and a lot of machinery is moving on farms and public roads, including trailers, balers and silage gear. Movement brings danger, particularly to bystanders, including children and older farmers.