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Dairy Newsletter - October 2021

This month's Dairy Newsletter includes information on: Moorepark ’21 - key messages for dairy farmers; Dry cow treatments; BCS in autumn-calving cows; Climate actions for October; and Monitoring badgers.

View it here: Dairy Newsletter - October 2021 (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Moorepark ’21 – key messages for dairy farmers
    Teagasc recently hosted over 7,000 dairy farmers, students and industry professionals across a three-day event at Moorepark Research Centre. The theme of the event was ‘Delivering Sustainability’. Some of the key take-home messages for dairy farmers are highlighted.
  • Dry cow treatments
    The regulations on antibiotic use will change on January 28, 2022. Dairy farmers will require evidence to use antibiotics at the end of lactation. You need cow-level data to make the correct decisions. Regular milk recording will provide farmers with the evidence needed to show if antibiotics are required. To build up an accurate picture of somatic cell count (SCC) in your herd before drying off, two recordings taken 30 days apart are needed.
  • BCS in autumn-calving cows
    The dry cow period should set up the cow for a trouble-free calving and a smooth transition to a productive lactation. The main points to get right are body condition score (BCS) and mineral nutrition. The target is to have cows at 3.0 to 3.25 at calving, which means good cover on the short ribs but no fat at the tail-head.
  • Climate actions for October
    • Check out your Bord Bia farmer feedback report for your carbon footprint figure
    • Apply lime to low pH grassland and crop soils
    • Allow topped hedges grow to at least 1.5m above the bank and allow a thorn sapling in each hedge grow a thorn tree
    • Check your soil maps from the nutrient management plan and apply K to low index soils
    • Start taking soil samples for your farm. Don't delay until after Christmas
    • Start closing paddocks from the 10th October onwards (1-2 weeks earlier in wet areas)
  • Monitoring badgers
    Philip Breslin and Rosanne Greene of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) report on monitoring badger activity on farms as a TB control measure.