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.