According to United Feeds’ nutritionist Jenny Hamilton, the start of the 2020 silage season is less than a fortnight away for some. Farmers in the east tend to get started that little bit earlier than their colleagues in other parts of Northern Ireland. However, in some parts of the west, it’s noticeable that grass swards […]
By Andrew McMenamin, Ruminant Nutrition Adviser Spring is upon us and after a long winter on most farm attention has turned to grass and letting cows out to graze that grass.But why risk letting cows out to lush swards and changing their diet when things are settled indoors, and we can maintain and regulate feeding […]
Most dairy research tends to focus on protein and energy needs, while minerals are often overlooked. Yet, when we fail to consider the role of minerals, problems can arise, including interferences or interactions with minerals in feed and water. Important trace minerals such as Zinc, and Selenium play an important role in antioxidant status, udder […]
It is agreed by everyone that the margin in milk production currently is small at best given the current base prices on offer, however this base price cannot be changed at farm level. Bonuses achieved for milk butterfat, protein and somatic cell count (SCC) levels however can be influenced at farm level and will have […]
By Alan Boyd – Ruminant Nutrition Adviser For the most part, autumn calving cows were dried off in good condition this year. This meant that milk producers had little trouble in making sure cows were holding at a body condition score of between 2.75 and 3.0 prior to calving. Post calving, however, a significant number […]
Silage analyses carried out by United Feeds is confirming a mainly positive story, regarding winter forage quality on dairy farms across Northern Ireland. Company nutritionist Bobby Irwin takes up the story: “Many farmers have built up ample quantities of silage over the past number of months and generally quality is quite good and above average. […]
By Jenny Hamilton – Ruminant Nutritionist I believe the genetic ceiling of many herds is higher than performance achieved, and I think nutrition plays the biggest role in filling that gap, not just dry cow and milking cow diets which clearly influence production, but also in growing youngstock correctly to take full advantage of their […]
Antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance are key concerns at the present time. With good pre-calving management, I believe we can significantly reduce the need for antibiotics this winter in both the milking herd, particularly in the first 100 days of lactation, and in the rearing of their calves. Before we start we need to analyse […]
The last number of years have seen dairy farmers invest heavily in improved management and housing systems, all dedicated to better meeting the welfare and behavioural needs of their cows. Can we say the same about the beef industry in Northern Ireland?
Father and son team – Victor and Robert Morrison from Ballyroney in Co Down are thoroughly enjoying their new life as dairy farmers. They switched from suckler production in August 2018 and are currently milking 93 Holstein & Fleckvieh with milk being supplied to Dale Farm.
The 2019 grazing season is now well under way in many parts of the country. Grazed grass still represents the cheapest feed source on farm and with the correct management can drastically improve milk produced from forage and overall feed efficiency and profitability.
Newtownstewart milk producer Trevor Wilson believes firmly in the principle that investing in the best facilities and breeding stock are crucial in order to generate the maximum amount of payback for the business. Moreover, this approach extends to all aspects of managing his farm.