Dairy Newsletter - November 2021
This month's Dairy Newsletter includes information on: farm mapping; housing checks for November; knowing your carbon footprint; Teagasc National Dairy Conference; managing weanling replacement heifers this winter; and the fundamentals of a successful dry period.
View it here: Dairy Newsletter - November 2021 (PDF)
In this month's edition:
- Be sure to leave enough grass for spring
At this time of year, it is tempting to ‘steal’ a few days of extra grazing if the weather is good. It seems to shorten the winter after all. However, the most important principle now is to leave enough for early spring grazing. Grass growth has slowed greatly, so recovery will be small – when it’s gone, it’s gone!
- Farm mapping
PastureBase now has a farm mapping tool, which makes it very easy for all farmers to map their own farm. If getting better results from grass is your goal for next year, you can register with PastureBase Ireland to create a farm profile.
- Housing checks for November
As farms move into the closed period for slurry spreading, it is very important that no clean water from yards or roofs is getting into slatted tanks. Check all gutters, downpipes and gullies to make sure they are clean and that water is being diverted as required.
- Know your number
The carbon footprint of a farm refers to how many greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted for every kg of milk or meat produced. After each audit, all certified dairy and beef farmers receive a Farmer Feedback Report from Bord Bia, including the farm’s carbon footprint, calculated using a model developed by Teagasc.
- Teagasc National Dairy Conference
The Teagasc National Dairy Conference will take place on:
- Tuesday, November 23 in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork; and,
- Wednesday, November 24 at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone.
- Managing weanling replacement heifers this winter
Winter management of replacement heifers is crucial for both spring- and autumn-born heifers to reach target weight at breeding. The target liveweight for November 1 is approximately 220kg for spring-born Friesian-type heifers, and 300kg for autumn-born heifers. Daily liveweight
gains of at least 0.5kg for heifers on target weight, and 0.75kg for lighter heifers, are needed over the winter period.
- The fundamentals of a successful dry period
The dry period is a crucial time, when new udder infections can be picked up from the environment leading to mastitis, even though clinical signs may not be seen until the start of the next lactation.