Sheep Newsletter - February 2022
14 February 2022
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In this month's edition:
- Grassland management
The spiralling fertiliser prices will make 2022 a challenging year. It is essential to put a plan in place now that will enable your farm to supply sufficient grass to the farm enterprises at a cost that is within a pre-determined budget. On farms that have implemented an appropriate autumn closing plan, good grass covers are being reported.
- Ewe nutrition in late pregnancy
Concentrate feed prices, albeit not to the same extent as fertiliser, have also been climbing steadily, with potentially further increases on the horizon. There is often potential to reduce the level of concentrates fed to ewes in late pregnancy without compromising animal performance.
- BETTER Farm Update - Scanning
Frank Campion of the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway reports on pregnancy scanning on the BETTER sheep farms. The lowland farms pregnancy scanned their ewes in late December/January. Overall, scanned litter size was similar to last year, while pregnancy rates were up by 1% on average across the flocks compared to last year, with most of the farms recording a greater than 96% pregnancy rate for their mature ewes. The hill farms will be pregnancy scanning this month.
- Research Update - Lambing season is fast approaching
Fiona McGovern of the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on scanning on the INZAC Flock. All INZAC ewes were pregnancy scanned in early January to assist pre-lambing management decisions. Preliminary results show an overall pregnancy rate to first service of 67%, which is below where we would normally see it.
- Health & Safety - Give safety first priority
In 2021, nine farm workplace deaths occurred in agriculture (crop and animal production), two in forestry and logging, and one was related to farm construction (provisional data). Thus, 12 workplace fatalities occurred on farms.