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Trace Elements & Reproduction

So what’s happening with your trace elements and reproduction?

Most dairy farmers have changed their farming systems and there has been a significant change to their feeding systems.

Pasture levels are low on many farms This year is much more the normal than last year in terms of higher rain levels.

This is almost back to how we were doing things 15 years ago.

As a result of the above factors both trace element deficiencies and underfeeding are a factor that we are seeing a lot more of.

We don’t have inductions anymore to tidy your reproduction up. You can’t sit and wait for things to change. You need to act.

Potential rising anticipated payout mean that supplements are probably more economic than a month ago.

Good nutrition not only milks this year but also ensures early calving next year.

Less supplements and more mud mean that trace elements will be all over the place and particularly copper levels may be much lower.

Trace element test your cows now. We like to take the bloods on Monday to Thursday to ensure they get to the lab and do not sit around.

Very Short of feed? If cell counts allow consider once a day by early September. Starting once a day at the start of mating really is closing the gate after the horse has bolted!

Calving spread out? We have seen some herds with their calving starting to spread out again. We had a great spring last year but this spread is happening in spite of it.

As supplement feeding has reduced we have seen more cows culled for being empty and less replacements being reared.

With anticipated changes in payout it may be a good time to plan ahead. Put tail paint on your herd 4 weeks before the start of mating as you need over 70% of your cows on heat in that first 3 weeks of premating to ensure good submission rates. You should be treating any noncyclers 7 days before the start of mating.

We are in 2016 and not in 2015! Ross Woods