Minimising the workload on your farm this spring
Preparation is key to minimising workload and stress that dairy farmers often experience on farms during the spring period and labour researcher Marion Beecher from Teagasc Moorepark highlights some of the ways that labour demand can be reduced.
Six-week calving rate is increase steadily on dairy farming meaning there are more cows calving in a shorter period of time putting a greater demand on resources such as facilities and labour.
Practices during the calving season such as once-a-day milking for the month of February, night time feeding, getting cows out to grass, once-a-day feeding of calves from 3 weeks and contracting out tractor work are all practices that will reduce the demand on labour across the spring.
A pre-calving checklist created by Mark Cassidy and Teagasc gives guidelines for a number of jobs to be completed in the months of December and January when the farm is quiet and there is free time.
The checklist includes tasks to be completed in the calving area, calf shed, milking parlour, grazing, animal health and office work. Simply servicing the milking machine, calving and calf pens are ready, ensuring the calving kit is in place and animal health products are on farm for the start of calving will mean dairy farmers can focus on the care of cows and calves for the calving season.
From more information: https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/publications/2015/Be-Prepared-for-Calving_06022015.pdf