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Dairy Newsletter - November 2022

04 November 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Grazing in November
    When should you stop grazing and house cows and stock for the winter period? For farms with heavy land the answer is usually dictated by ground conditions, but for drier farms the temptation to keep grazing will be strong this year.
  • Selective approach to drying cows off
    Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland (AHI) ran 13 drying off on-farm events with the co-ops around the country in recent weeks. At them, we suggested that cows with an average annual SCC of less than 100,000 cells/ml and no clinical cases of mastitis could make suitable candidates for drying off without dry cow antibiotics.
  • Making the best use of part-time workers
    Failure to offer regular working hours has come up as a major barrier to successfully finding employees for dairy farms. The agri-employment agencies report a huge number of calls from farmers in early spring looking for help for a couple of months, with little or no plan for the rest of the year. Employees need regular work and to know when this work is available, so that they can plan around this.
  • National Dairy Conference 2022
    After a three-year absence, this year’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference makes a welcome return to a full conference format. It is scheduled for December 6 in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork, and December 8 in the Mullingar Park Hotel, Co. Westmeath. The theme of the conference is ‘Turning challenges into opportunities’. Find out more or book your ticket at www.teagasc.ie/dairycon22 
  • Manage body condition in late lactation
    Having cows in the correct body condition score (BCS) of 3.0 to 3.25 (fit but not fat) at calving is essential for trouble-free calving next year. The process starts in late lactation. The primary tools for BCS management in late lactation are dry period length and feed intake/quality.
  • Update on fertiliser 2023
    A sub-group of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee met recently to discuss potential challenges around the fertiliser supply chain facing into spring 2023. Some key messages arising are highlighted in the newsletter.
  • 12 Steps to Reducing Emissions
    Over the next 12 months, this newsletter will outline one action per month farmers can take to reduce their emissions. This month the focus is on step one - Optimise soil pH.
  • Health & Safety - Over 4,500 farm accidents occur annually
    Research from the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) has revealed that there were 4,523 accidents on Irish farms during 2020. The data shows over 88% of these accidents involved the farm operator, with a further 11% relating to family members. Farm workers accounted for the remaining 1%.