Adjusting herd breeding patterns can produce profits

UK - Stemming from the success of its application in the USA, where high yields and labour issues have been similar to the UK, the Genus/ABS Reproductive Management System (RMS) has enabled one farm to reduce calving interval by 19 days in just four months.
calendar icon 9 January 2007
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For North Yorkshire dairy producers Frank and Richard Pattison, this systems approach to the management of on-farm fertility has increased productivity and freed up valuable time.

"We have a fully trained technician on farm every day, dedicated to heat detection and AI, enabling some of the responsibility for fertility to be taken away for our schedules," explains Mr Pattison.

Running a 200-cow herd of black-and-whites alongside son-in-law Stuart Rhodes, using a total mixed ration feeding system with in-parlour feeding, the team provides all labour with the occasional relief milking.

"We wanted to tighten calving interval without losing productivity by getting to second and third heat before catching cows," says Mr Pattison. With son, Richard, taking on off-farm contracting responsibilities, the lack of available labour dedicated to heat detection, particularly with limited winter light hours, was having a considerable effect on detection rates.

Source: Farmers Weekly

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