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Joe Kelleher: How many replacements do we need?

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There has been a lot of focus this spring on improving the beef traits of the non-replacement calves produced from the national dairy herd.

The key recommendations include using sexed semen, using more beef AI, using the dairy beef index to choose bulls, and only generating enough heifers to meet your replacement requirements. But how many replacement heifers are required on your farm?

There are numerous factors that will determine the number of replacements required on our dairy farms; the fertility status of the herd, the age profile, disease status, calving spread, expanding herd or static, farmers' own desire to improve the genetics of their herd.


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