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Dairy Farming

Colostrum and its importance to new calves

As times change and farming becomes an ever more competitive business, farmers are all striving to get the best and the most from their calves. The first and most important factor in a calf’s first hours of life is colostrum.

Gone are the days where we leave the calf with the cow and hope that it sucks enough itself – with no idea how much the calf is getting or of what quality.

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Grazing efficiency to improve margins

As milk prices have recovered to a more sustainable level, the importance of producing cheaper milk from grazed grass will still be key to improving margins this grazing season.

With elevated concentrate prices, supplementation through the grazing season will need to be carefully managed. Not only spring calvers can make efficient use of grass; higher yielding herds can still target higher milk yields from grazed grass through careful management of either grazing the whole herd or part of the herd.

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Grazing and how to support it

Grazing is about to increase as the spring approaches, making it time to think about how we use supplementary feed to make the most of grazed grass.
With grass the cheapest feed available to cows, any kind of supplementation must complement, not restrict, grazing – balancing limitations in grass to improve on farm margins.

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Managing the Spring Born Calf

With calving in full swing across the UK, there will inevitably be immense pressures on transition cows, new born calves, the environment they are in and the staff managing the herds. Due to the nature of a tight spring calving pattern dry cow/calving pens are often overstocked at peak, creating inadequate conditions for the calf to be born into, having a detrimental effect on both transition cows and the new arrival.

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