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Dairy Newsletter - January 2022

05 January 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Managing early nitrogen this spring
    High fertiliser nitrogen (N) prices will add significantly to cash cost on dairy farms this spring. However, a lack of N supply in the soil limits spring grass growth, which will lead in turn to higher feed costs. It is important to maximise the efficiency of fertiliser used this spring. Find some dos and don’ts which should guide your decisions around early N application:
  • Mastitis in early lactation
    Early lactation mastitis, which occurs in the first week or so after calving, is a problem in individual herds. Cows are especially at risk of acquiring such mastitis in the two weeks either side of calving because at this time the cow’s immune system is at its lowest ebb. The two types of bacteria most often associated with early lactation mastitis are: Streptococcus uberis and coliform bacteria.
  • Labour saving spring 2022
    Workload in spring makes up over one-third of the total hours needed per year to run a farm. Many farm owners are working in excess of 80 hours per week in spring and overcoming this workload can be a challenge on many farms. The main spring labour-efficient practices highlighted from a recent labour efficiency study on calf care practices, cow care practices and grassland practices are summarised.
  • Climate actions for January
    • Plan spring fertiliser applications for tillage crops
    • Get your nutrient management plan completed. It will be particularly important in 2022
    • Continue to spread lime, where you can
    • Get your slurry analysed for nutrient content
    • Create a slurry spreading plan with your Advisor to get the most from it
    • Order your protected urea now
  • Health & Safety - Prepare to cut risk
    Research by Teagasc indicates that rushing and tiredness are major causal factors of farm workplace injuries, so good preparation is essential to cut risks. The coming weeks provide an opportunity for farm maintenance and making health and safety improvements before the busy spring season.