- Best practice on a dairy farm1 September 2008
Proper training for new staff, whether students, trainee farm workers or Eastern European labour, is one of the best investments dairy farmers can make, according to DairyCo extension officer in the South West, Chris Coxon. At a time of increasing pressure on dairy staff, caused by difficulties in recruiting domestic and foreign workers and rising labour costs, it has never been more important to ensure staff are well trained and can carry out the tasks required of them – especially if it’s not something they do regularly.
- Inbreeding1 September 2008
Dairy farmers should be careful when selecting bulls to use in their herds, as levels of inbreeding are rising and could start to impact on production and vigour. New research from the Scottish Agricultural College and Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Services (EGENES) has revealed that inbreeding levels for all breeds currently stands at about 2% in the UK. Although that is well below the 5-6% recorded in the US and Canada, UK inbreeding is rising at 0.13 percentage points a year...
- Minimising Slurry Pooling in Winter1 September 2008
With bringing cows in only a matter of weeks away, preparing for winter’s battle to keep dairy cow housing clean should not be far from the front of farmers’ minds. Rachael Grigg, DairyCo extension officer for Cornwall and west Devon, looks at some of the things that can be done to minimise slurry pooling in dairy housing...
- pd+1 September 2008
Dairy producers could save over £100/cow by improving the fertility of their herd through simple monitoring techniques, according to DairyCo. Better heat detection, body condition scoring and overall herd health play a massive part in improving herd fertility, says south-west extension officer Chris Coxon. “The longer it takes to get a cow back in calf, the lower her overall lactation will be,” he says. “Longer lactations or dry periods result in lower peak milk yields throughout the life of the cow, reducing overall yields for a similar feed and management cost.”