Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Farming

Scanning is vital aid in the successful management of our suckler cow herds

Published

on

BY ANTHONY O’CONNOR

TO scan or not to scan? That is the question facing many suckler farmers at present. In recent years, the number of suckler cows being pregnancy scanned has fallen sharply as farmers strive to save cash and cut costs. However, the benefits of pregnancy scanning far exceed the costs involved.

If it is at least 35 days since the last cow in the herd could have been served then you should consider scanning the cows. It offers so many advantages that it is a vital tool used on well managed herds.

• It will tell you what is and what is not in calf. This will allow you the opportunity to take out empty cows, wean their calves that bit earlier and have these barren cows finished with some supplementation off grass.  Finishing these barren cows (along with other cull cows) will save you fodder, money, time and shed space.

• Most scanners will be able to give you a good estimate of the number of weeks that each cow has gone in calf.  We can use this information to predict the cows due date which will influence how she is fed, when she is to be vaccinated, (if you give a scour vaccine).  It will also allow you to predict the peak calving period so that extra help can be planned or when you may need to take time off work.

• In the run up to calving, pregnant cows can be drawn out and penned according to their predicted calving date. At calving time, these cows can be moved into pens or loose housing closest to the calving boxes/area.  Scanning allows you to identify late calvers, batch them together and feed accordingly.  These predicted late calvers could be selected for culling next year when their calves have been weaned. There is also the option of culling these predicted late calvers now and selling them at the mart.  

Other advantages: Provided cows haven’t gone over 12 to 14 weeks in calf you may well be able to pick up if there are any cows carrying twins which will alert you to watch the condition of these cows in the run up to calving.  It will also have you primed for what to expect at calving.

It will sometimes show up cows that may be carrying an unviable embryo that for one reason or another is unlikely to go full term.

If the scanning reveals for example that more than 5% of your cows are empty then this may signify that there is a fertility problem in your herd.  Maybe it was a bull issue or perhaps a mineral deficiency or a disease problem – either way, it should prompt you into investigating the issue further.

The cost of scanning is approximately €5 per cow. However, the cost per cow is generally less for larger herds (20 or more cows) and where cows are all scanned together in the one location.  A suggestion is that some farmers in the same locality (or in a discussion group) get together and arrange to have their herds scanned on the same day, thus reducing costs.  

In summary, pregnancy scanning will tell you what is and what is not in calf, allowing you to cull barren cows. It provides information on what to expect and when to expect it, thus helping in the organisation of calving and labour requirements. It is a vital management tool for suckler herds.

*Anthony O’Connor is a drystock adviser with Teagasc, Athenry. Comments to anthony.oconnor@teagasc.ie 

 

Connacht Tribune

Suffolks make €2,500 at Roscommon sale

Published

on

Alastair Barclay judging the stock at the Suffolk Show and Sale in Roscommon earlier this month.

THE standard and quality of sheep presented at the 51st Premier Show & Sale of West of the Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club took place in Roscommon Mart on Saturday, August 6 was top class.

Judge, Mr Alaister Barclay of the renowned Northern Ireland Flock, Redbrae Suffolks, was faced with a difficult task in judging the classes.

Harry Graham of the Westside Flock, Sligo, won the Young Handler’s Class which he founded in 2019 – this was his third win of the year.

The Summerhill flock of Mattie and Kevin Kelly in Galway won the Champion Ewe Lamb Cass – sired by Howgillfoot Batman.

In the Novice Ram Class, new breeder, Caillin Joyce of the Ballintleva Flock, Westport, took the spoils and he also went to claim 4th in the Open Ram class.

In the Gigot Class, it was the turn of the Ballygarris Flock of Michael and Marie Jennings, Mayo to take the honours with Windyhill Magic sired lamb. The Jennings’ winning run continued in the Open Class where they claimed the top spot with a powerful Strathbogie Joel son which was born to a Ballygarris Ewe.

The Pairs Class saw 7 flocks competing for the top honours and it was the Loughrynn Flock of Coote & Trevor Geelan who won out here.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Farmland in strong demand across Galway

Published

on

Colm Farrell: Good farmland across Galway is making around €10,000 an acre.

A TIGHT supply with strong demand probably sums up the Galway market for farmlands so far this year with prices averaging out at around the €10,000 an acre mark.

According to Gort auctioneer, Colm Farrell, the demand for the better-quality farmland is particularly strong and especially so if neighbouring farmers are in competition for the ground.

He also pointed out that dairy farmers were also very keenly interested in farmland that became available either in their general area or bordering their farms.

“The demand is very strong here in Galway for good quality land which can be in scarce enough supply.

“Many neighbouring or nearby farmers will see this as a one-off chance to increase their holding,” Colm Farrell told the Farming Tribune.

He also said that the ‘auction’ sale method seemed to deliver the biggest demand and competition for land coming on the market. “Auctions do tend to focus the minds of buyers,” he said.

Next month, Colm Farrell will have two farms both coming up for sale at public auction in O’Sullivan’s of Gort on Friday, September 16 next – both 70-acre holdings – one of them in Peterswell and the other in Aughrim.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

Published

on

Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending