Superlevy to Continue on 20% of Your Milk?

How is my herd’s calving spread costing me the equivalent of paying superlevy every year on 20% of my milk?
There are significant costs in poor fertility performance in dairy herds and profitability of grass based systems are particularly dependent on having a tight calving pattern with a target of having a mid-February mean calving date and calving 90% of your herd in six weeks. The most recent research from Moorepark* draws together all the individual economic impacts of a number of ‘reproductive inefficiencies’ and concludes they can be summarised by your 6-week calving rate i.e. the % of your herd calved in six weeks.
 
If your herd is the same as the national average, only 56% of your herd was calved in six weeks in 2014 (ICBF data), well short of the 90% goal and it’s costing you nearly €280 per cow per year! This is because every 1% below the 90% target is costing you €8.22 per cow each year. If your performance is above the national average than there are still significant savings to be made; or if your performance is below the national average than there are even larger savings to be made!
Key point: Teagasc research applied to ICBF data indicates that poor fertility performance is costing over €19,500 / year for average 70 cow herd with a 56% 6 week calving rate
 
How do I go about improving my 6-week calving rate? 
Achieving a compact calving pattern will not happen overnight and requires sustained effort over a number of years. Firstly you need to know where you are and where you are falling down. Records are critical here, start by looking at your ICBF/Co-op reports. 
 
Set a three-year herd 'change' goal for each of the key areas (to achieve performance improvement) below and break down into your own farm’s individual goals for 2016, 2017 and 2018:
Genetics-Select high EBI fertility sub-index sires
 
Breeding Season Management-Targets/records, heat detection etc.
 
Nutrition-365 plan with particular focus on Body Condition Score (BCS) targets
 
Veterinary Herd Health-Biosecurity, management, vaccines, dosing etc.
 
Replacement Heifer Rearing-Target driven
 
To find out more on these topics, view the relevant pages form our website:
http://www.agritrading.ie/Fertility-and-Breeding-Notes 
http://www.agritrading.ie/Nutrition 
http://www.agritrading.ie/Veterinary-Care-and-Herd-Health
http://www.agritrading.ie/Rearing-Replacement-Heifers
*Shalloo et al 2013: Effects of fertility on the economics of pasture based dairy systems, Teagasc

How is my herd’s calving spread costing me the equivalent of paying superlevy every year on 20% of my milk?
There are significant costs in poor fertility performance in dairy herds and profitability of grass based systems are particularly dependent on having a tight calving pattern with a target of having a mid-February mean calving date and calving 90% of your herd in six weeks. The most recent research from Moorepark* draws together all the individual economic impacts of a number of ‘reproductive inefficiencies’ and concludes they can be summarised by your 6-week calving rate i.e. the % of your herd calved in six weeks.
 
If your herd is the same as the national average, only 56% of your herd was calved in six weeks in 2014 (ICBF data), well short of the 90% goal and it’s costing you nearly €280 per cow per year! This is because every 1% below the 90% target is costing you €8.22 per cow each year. If your performance is above the national average than there are still significant savings to be made; or if your performance is below the national average than there are even larger savings to be made!
Key point: Teagasc research applied to ICBF data indicates that poor fertility performance is costing over €19,500 / year for average 70 cow herd with a 56% 6 week calving rate
 

How do I go about improving my 6-week calving rate?

 Achieving a compact calving pattern will not happen overnight and requires sustained effort over a number of years. Firstly you need to know where you are and where you are falling down. Records are critical here, start by looking at your ICBF/Co-op reports. 
 
Set a three-year herd 'change' goal for each of the key areas (to achieve performance improvement) below and break down into your own farm’s individual goals for 2016, 2017 and 2018:
Genetics-Select high EBI fertility sub-index sires

 • Breeding Season Management-Targets/records, heat detection etc.
 
Nutrition-365 plan with particular focus on Body Condition Score (BCS) targets
 
Veterinary Herd Health-Biosecurity, management, vaccines, dosing etc.
 
Replacement Heifer Rearing-Target driven
 
To find out more on these topics, view the relevant pages form our website:

http://www.agritrading.ie/Fertility-and-Breeding-Notes

http://www.agritrading.ie/Nutrition

http://www.agritrading.ie/Veterinary-Care-and-Herd-Health

http://www.agritrading.ie/Rearing-Replacement-Heifers

*Shalloo et al 2013: Effects of fertility on the economics of pasture based dairy systems, Teagasc