Derrypatrick can still hit e1,000/ha, insists manager
The €1,000/ha profit target for the Derrypatrick suckler herd still stands, despite the herd's abysmal calving performance, Teagasc management in Grange have insisted.
Herd manager Denis Minogue said that achieving €1,000/ha is still his goal for the herd, despite the high calf mortality and Caesarean section rate in the herd this season.
Mr Minogue only took charge of the Grange programme six weeks ago after earlier breeding and feeding decisions were made by previous management. He said that his full focus was now on getting cows back in calf as quickly as possible.
As reported in the past week, 10 cows from the original herd and four from 10 bought-in replacement animals underwent caesarean sections after the herd was fed second-cut, low-DMD silage ad lib during the winter.
The eight C-section cows were in calf to Belgian Blue, Simmental and Blonde bulls, two C-section heifers were in calf to Blonde bulls and the four C-section replacement cows were in calf to bulls incorrectly identified by the sellers.
However, Mr Minogue has clarified some details about the calf mortality rate, which was inaccurate due to a jumbo tag mix-up.
In fact, 10 calves from 115 calvings died before, during or within 24 hours of birth. Six of the dead calves were from the original 93 Derrypatrick animals, while four were from the 22 bought-in replacements. Another calf was lost when its dam crushed it at a few days old.