Farming For a Better Climate - Summer 2020 Newsletter
Improving Fertility in the Dairy Herd
Every day added to a cow’s calving interval, postpones her next lactation and is replaced by an extra day at the end of her current lactation when the yield is lower. More milk per cow means less methane per litre.
The age of first calving can have a big influence on the carbon footprint of a farm. Heifers calving at two years tend to be more productive, with better fertility and produce more milk over their lifetime than older calving heifers. They also tend to have a longer lifespan in the herd and there is a faster rate of genetic improvement in the herd, with lower rearing costs and quicker payback.
Getting cows back into calf
Getting cows back in calf is highly dependent on heat detection rates; these are easier to improve than conception rates. A number of fertility aids can be employed to help improve heat detection, although heat detection aids are not a replacement for visual observation and a combination of the two will give the best results. Make sure all staff are trained in heat detection, know the key behavioural signs, and record all heat events appropriately. In some cases, the use of synchronisation protocols with fixed-time artificial insemination may be an option and eliminate the need for heat detection. You can read more in our ’Improving fertility in the dairy herd’ practical guide on our ‘Optimising Livestock Performance’ pages here.
Other articles in the Summer 2020 Newsletter include:
- What's been happening?
- Focus on dairy; How do we reduce emissions AND benefit the farm business?
- Where to start?
- How can cutting greenhouse gases benefit the business?
- Improving fertility in the dairy herd
- Reducing feed waste
- Do dairy cows need soya?
- Range of ideas in ‘Practical Guide’ series
- Benefit from cow tracks
- Feed budgeting to improve resilience
- Livestock; improving efficiency
- FAS Event; Cows v Cars?
- Can you improve technical performance and efficiency?
- Funding support for carbon footprinting
- How easy is it to cut carbon?
- Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group
- Experimenting with establishment
- Drilling precision
- Strip till - promoting better roots?
- To till or not to till?
- Sharing ideas; working as a group
- New break crops for the Soil Regen Agric Group?
- Savings on fuel using Hydrogen technology
- Aberdeenshire farmers investigate Hydrogen
- NEW FFBC Podcasts