Management

Dairy Australia updates popular resource

By Dairy News

TWO OF Dairy Australia’s most popular publications—InCalf and Rearing Healthy Calves—have been updated with the latest technical and scientific information. Both publications have been successful over the years with farmers and the new editions reflect developments in the areas of fertility and heifer rearing.

Herd fertility is an important driver for profitability on dairy farms and is infl uenced by a large number of management decisions. Recognising the diversity of farm systems across Australia, a companion InCalf Farm Case Studies booklet has been published, which highlights the importance of good herd fertility management to ensure successful and profi table farm businesses.

The booklet, which features seven different farm scenarios and farmer case studies, is the result of an in-depth research survey into consistently highly profi table farms, exploring the links between their farm financial and reproductive performance. The case studies include at least one representative of each of the common calving systems (seasonal single, split, year-round) and across different calving times (spring and autumn) and milk supply patterns, providing relatable examples for most Australian farmers.

Rearing Healthy Calves was first published in 2011. It has proven extremely popular with farmers and calf rearers, with about 12000 copies of the original publication circulated.

The manual offers farmers ideas on how to enhance the way they manage calves, with the benefits flowing right through the supply chain. Dairy farmer Jessa Fleming said the Rearing Healthy Calves manual would save farmers time and money.

Ms Fleming, who farms with husband Geoff  at Gorae West near Portland, said following the procedures in Rearing Healthy Calves had transformed a crucial part of their farm business.

“In the last two years we have had one sick calf that needed veterinary care as opposed to previous years when we had 30 or 40 per cent of the calves showing signs of sickness,” she said.

“Now we have calves that are healthier, they achieve a better growth rate, they calve earlier and produce more milk.”

Hard copies of InCalf and Rearing Healthy Calves can be ordered for free from the new Dairy Australia website at www.dairyaustralia.com.au

WestVic Dairy also offers workshops about heifer rearing and herd fertility.

Phone the office on 55571000 for more information.