CellCheck Newsletter MARCH FINAL

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

10 benefits to be gained from milk recording

Paschal Coughlan, HerdPlus Technical Support, ICBF

A s we enter the era of precision agriculture, performance data and how we use it has never been of more importance. For the Irish dairy farmer the most important piece of performance data that can be collected is milk yield and quality results. As milk price projections are giving a more positive outlook for 2017, it is expected that dairy farmers may have more capital to invest in the long term profitability of their herds, through resuming or even entering milk recording for the first time. 1. The most obvious benefit of milk recording is that it allows the farmer to track their best and worst producers. This allows the farmer to make management decisions such as; which cows are underperforming and may be suitable to cull or, which cows are producing in your system and are more suitable for breeding replacements. 2. Regular milk recording will also allow the herd owner to keep track of the somatic cell count (SCC) of each cow. This will identify and facilitate the management of repeat offenders and could dramatically decrease your herds overall SCC and improve milk price. 3. Herds that are milk recording get a CellCheck Farm Summary Report after each recording-this report highlights the areas of excellence in terms of mastitis control, and also areas that could be improved. It quantifies the daily loss occurring as a result of high SCC cows, so the herd owner can clearly see what can be gained financially from preventing infection.

4. Milk recording adds significant value to any surplus breeding stock being sold off farm and increases the chances of a bull calf being selected to enter AI through the Gene Ireland programme.

5. Milk recording results are fed into ICBF’s genetic evaluations. This allows us to give your cows an EBI with a higher reliability. Herds that are milk recording also get access to high EBI young bulls through the Gene Ireland programme. Getting these bulls tested in herds that are milk recording allows ICBF to prove these bulls in a shorter period of time, thereby increasing the speed of genetic gain.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER • MARCH EDITION 2017

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