Charleville, Ireland: Dec 2015
Ireland’s dairy herds have huge potential for improved performance at a time when the sector is undergoing massive expansion. By 2020, milk supply is expected to increase by 50% and the national dairy herd by 300,000 cows.
Currently, approximately 45% of heifers born in to Irish dairy herds fail to calve between 22 to 26 months, whilst 25% of the total don’t calve at all according to the latest report from Kelleher et al 2015.
A similar level of performance was achieved in British dairy herds in which approximately 20% of heifers failed to make it to first calving, according to a Royal Veterinary College study.
Over 350 farmer delegates attended Volac’s National Heifer Rearing Conference held in Charleville, December 2015 heard how they could start to increase their heifer performance and make significant improvements to overall herd efficiency and subsequent profitability.
Below you can watch a slidecast of each presentation or download a PDF summary.
Volac International Feed For Growth Program – The road map to helping farmers optimise opportunities in heifer rearing
Speaker: Niall Jaggan, Global Products Manager, Volac International
Optimising Response To The First Feed – Cow & Calf
Speaker: Dr. Emer Kennedy, Teagasc Researcher, Moorepark
Chairperson: Matt O’Keeffe, Editor – Irish Farmers Monthly
The Effect Of Nutrient Intake and Growth Rate Pre-Weaning on Long Term Herd Performance
Presenter: Professor Mike Van Amburgh, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, USA
Putting Theory Into Practice: Getting all of the steps right along the Calf Rearing Route
Presenter: Pat Cahill, Volac International
Chairperson: Mike Magan, Chairman, Animal Health Ireland
Emerging Role of Contract Rearing
Presenter: George Ramsbottom, Teagasc Dairy Specialist
Neonatal Nutrition & Getting The Economics Right Impact of biologically appropriate feeding of heifer calves on growth, pubertal age, calving age and milk yield.
Presenter: John Maher, Regional Dairy Specialist, Teagasc
Impact of Calf Housing and Environment on Calf Performance
Presenter: Jamie Robertson, Livestock Management Systems Ltd.
Chairperson: Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor, Irish Farmers Journal