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Dairy Newsletter - June 2023

09 June 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Top tips June 2023
    1. Assess progress of the breeding season by examining submission rate. The target is 90% of all eligible cows served in the first three weeks and 100% served by six weeks.
    2. Use high Dairy Beef Index (DBI) AI bulls once enough dairy straws have been used. These beef bulls should have good calving and carcass traits in combination. 
    3. Where clover has been added to swards, keep grazing at lower covers (<1,300kg pre grazing) and skip out of rotation if needed to make sure this happens. 
    4. Silage stocks are low on many farms this year. Complete a winter feed budget once the first cut has been completed. 
    5. Complete a milk recording and use the results to deal with problem high somatic cell count (SCC) cows. 
    6. Moorepark Open Day July 4 – save the date.
  • Optimum grazing stocking rate in mid-season
    Best practice grazing management over the summer months is to maintain pre-grazing herbage mass between 1,300 and 1,500kg dry matter (DM)/ha (8 and 10cm), and target a post-grazing sward height of 4-4.5cm. Grazing conditions have been difficult this spring; therefore, grass quality on a lot of farms needs correction. In order to correct/maintain grass quality through June, July, and August, there must be some scope in the grazing system to allow for surplus paddocks to be taken as bales to ensure quality regrowth.
  • Foot bath design and use
    There are higher incidences of lameness after the spring due to the bad weather, with roadways and paddock access in unsatisfactory conditions. Some people use foot baths to help with lameness issues. When using foot baths, it is important that they are correctly designed and used for optimum efficiency.
  • Health & Safety - Organise to stay safe
    So far in 2023, three farm workplace fatalities have been reported to the Health and Safety Authority (provisional data at May 15). A Teagasc National Farm Survey study has shown that over 4,500 farm workplace injuries occur annually, with 80% requiring medical treatment. During June, farm work gets busy, especially with tractor and machinery and livestock-related work. Organising work is crucial to prevent injuries. This involves keeping safety to the fore by having all guards in place and using safe work practices.