Dairy Newsletter - March 2021
Get the latest information & advice from the Teagasc Dairy team in this month's newsletter. It includes: Getting grazing back on track!; Early turnout to grass of replacement heifers; Supplementing grass to improve milk solids yield; Lameness - around calving time; and Health & Safety.
In this month's edition:
- Getting back on track!
Grazing has got off to a slow start in 2021 due to wet weather. While the growth of grass is about normal, the turnout of cows has been delayed. We have now entered catch-up mode on most farms. The objective is to get moving in terms of grazing the farm.
- Early turnout to grass of replacement heifers
Studies have shown that early spring grass can support liveweight gains of up to 1.0kg per head per day. Make sure that the lightest heifers have priority access to the best grass, as they have the most ground to make up.
- Supplementing grass to improve milk solids yield
Spring-calving cows should be on a rising plane of feed intake and milk solids yield through the latter half of the first rotation. Grass intakes of about 14kg dry matter per day, offered as two grazings, provide an excellent quality base in the diet.
- Lameness - around calving time
This month we continue our focus on lameness with Waterford-based Ned Dunphy, Farm Relief Services and veterinary surgeon Ger Cusack of Comeragh Veterinary Practice. After calving, they recommend two actions: check mobility score regularly & record cases of lameness in your herd.
- Health & Safety - Keep organised to keep safe
Work organisation is crucial in March when the workload peaks. Your alertness and behaviour can prevent injuries and ill health at this busy time.