Making a start on scanning autumn-calvers

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Written by Agriland Team

As we enter the first week of spring, it is time for farmers that are operating an autumn-calving system to be reviewing the success of their breeding season during the winter.

Cows should only be scanned once farmers are confident that 35 days has passed since she was served. Ideally, farmers should have AI’ing dates on hand for each cow or the known withdrawal date of the stock bull from the breeding herd.

Why should I scan?

There are a number of benefits from completing scanning, but the main reason is that it will tell you whether or not you are going to have a calf next autumn.

The factor of twins can also be identified at scanning, if going in at the right time to scan.

It will show up any cows that are scanning empty and farmers can then make the choice of possibly finishing these cows once they have weaned their calves.

Scanning will also give you a predicted time of calving, so cows can be grouped and fed pre-calving in accordance with their scanning dates.

Vaccinations for pre-calving cows can also be judged off the scanning results to ensure that they are given at the correct time.

Peak calving times will be noted and farmers can prepare in terms of labour for the autumn-calving season for 2021.

In an unfortunate situation where a high percentage of cows are showing up not in-calf, farmers may then have to look at the issue of in-fertility.

If using a stock bull he may need to be fertility tested and observed mating a cow. However, if the bull is not the issue, there may be a disease or a mineral deficiency that is causing the problem which may require further investigation.

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Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...