Vets report 'serious' mating management problems on dairy farms
Dairy farmers are being advised not to push back the calving season for 2019 by more than a week despite the impact of recent storms and the extended winter.
Vets are reporting "serious problems" on many dairy farms with farmers indicating they plan to delay the breeding season slightly this year.
AI centres confirm that the breeding season has got off to a "slow" start, but they are hoping for a pick-up in demand over the next few weeks.
Aidan Doyle from Summerhill Veterinary Clinic, Nenagh told farmers at North Tipperary IFA Executive that "farmers are going to push back the calving season because they are experiencing serious difficulties this year".
He said that compact calving combined with the late spring has compounded management problems.
"We are encouraging farmers to ensure that their cows are in good condition before starting the mating season. It has been a difficult winter and spring on farms. Some cows are not in the condition score that is recommended," he advised.
Teagasc dairy advisor George Ramsbottom said he would be surprised if farmers were planning to defer calving by more than a few days as this was the most which could be justified.
"Teagasc advice remains that February is the most profitable month to calve spring calving cows.