• Post category:News

The continuing drought is causing serious problems for farmers. There is little sight of any immediate respite as limited/no rainfall continues. As a result farmers have been left with tight grass supplies and some have decided to offload stock.

People that need to reduce stocking rate have a tendency to look at culling low production cows. However many other traits impact profit as well as low production. The age of the cow for example can have a big bearing on the profit potential for that cow.

If we cull simply on low production we are ignoring other traits that have a big impact on profit. A late calving date in the current year or a late expected calving date next year will effect the profit potential of your animal. A high SCC and other health issues such as lameness will have a negetive impact on future profit. Other traits such as persistency of lactation, cost of replacements in subsequent years and longevity are also traits which should be considered when culling.

Can you really cull on low production and ignore the following?

  1. End up culling all young cows?
  2. Impact on future profit?
  3. Will I be replacing them all again next year?????
  4. Keep cow having a good year now but she was a high SCC cow for 2 years previously???
  5. Keep cow now but was hard to get in calf previously?

Cull using COW and you will consider;

  1. Every trait that is represented the diagram above
  2. Herd profitability over time; this year and for future years
  3. Replacement costs associated with removing animals

C.O.W. is for culling cows

C.O.W. considers many factors, including production

C.O.W. takes into account parity of animals and can adjust accordingly

It will do a better job than culling on one aspect only!!

Runs instantly

Data required;

  • HerdPlus member
  • Milk recording and calving dates automatically used
  • Only possible action is to record inseminations or pregnancy diagnosis of cows at this time of year

Please click here to view the full presentation on the  Drought and fodder crisis. The slides are a case study approach to culling 10% of the herd in which there were 6 actual herds used.