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Dairy Newsletter - September 2023

05 September 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Top five tips for September
    1. Complete a simple cash budget in September detailing likely income and expenses for the coming four to six months.
    2. Drying off spring-calving cows will commence in about 60 days’ time. Do you have a plan in place for use of selective dry cow therapy?
    3. Second cuts on many farms did not bulk as expected due to adverse weather. Straw supply may be limited also. Act early if silage supplies are likely to be tight.
    4. September is a good time to get some yard maintenance tasks completed.
    5. With a more manageable workload at this time of year, it is an opportunity to take some time to see and learn about new things that could improve your farm performance.
  • Grass management in September
    There are two objectives in autumn grazing management of dairy cows. Firstly, the cows must be adequately fed using grazed grass as it is the cheapest high quality feed available. The second objective is to set the farm up for a good supply of spring grass.
  • Control thermoduric bacteria
    Thermoduric bacteria are those that survive the pasteurisation process. They are present in dung, soil and animal bedding, and can enter the milking equipment through dirty teats at milking time.
  • Health and Safety - Positive health and well-being
    Positive health and well-being is vital for ongoing satisfaction with life. Mental Health Ireland (MHI) advocates the following five-step approach to help you feel good and function well: connect with the people around you; be active, take exercise; take notice, be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling; keep learning, do something new; and, give, volunteer or join a community group.
  • Milking 10 times per week – could it work for you?
    Milking is the most labour demanding task on Irish dairy farms and sets the structure of the working day. Altering milking frequency could provide more flexibility for farmers and allow for a better work/life balance, potentially making dairy farms more attractive workplaces. However, changes in milking frequency must consider a number of aspects before they can be recommended (e.g., milk production, cow health and welfare).