FOR Gippsland dairy farmers Mick and Julie Fusinato, completing an InCharge Fertility workshop has meant better calving outcomes and healthier cows.
The Neerim South couple made the five day commitment to the workshops and have since noticed lower empty rates in their younger cows.
“I initially baulked at the five day commitment, but when you actually see what is covered over those five days, you couldn’t make it any shorter,” Julie said. It’s worth investing the time to get the information.”
Mick believes fertility was already a strength of the farm, but the course showed them where they could make improvements, especially with feeding younger stock to reach target weights.
“It’s already had an impact,” he said.
“We used to get four or five empties out of 40 two-year-olds, but now we are down to about one. So weighing them and making sure they are up to target weight has made a difference.”
Dairy Australia’s animal health and nutrition program manager, Kathryn Davis, said InCharge Fertility workshops allow farmers to build confidence in an area where they may have struggled to improve outcomes.
“It is a headache for a lot of farmers. They worry about it but don’t know what the next step is,” she said.
“Because it is not just generic advice that they are given, farmers who complete the InCharge Fertility course will be significantly better informed about their own herd.
“It assists them to develop a fertility plan that helps them meet goals that are specific to their own herd.”
GippsDairy regional extension officer Louise Sundermann urged dairy farmers to sign on for the InCharge workshops, which will be run in Korumburra, Foster, Warragul and Maffra starting in late May or early June.
“Mick and Julie are great examples of how farmers who are already performing above the average in fertility can still find improvement by doing the course,” she said.
“With fertility rates falling across the industry, it’s an area where every farmer can improve their business bottom line and ease the stress of calving by accessing the information and skills offered by InCharge.”
Louise said the workshops can help the farm business by giving it:
• control over the timing of calving and peak feed demand
• a better rate of genetic gain
• more options to cull or sell less desirable animals
• lower cost of replacement stock
• lower greenhouse gas emissions, and
• reduced calving induction.
GippsDairy is holding InCharge Fertility courses in Korumburra (Mondays starting May 29 – excluding June 12), Foster (Thursdays starting June 1), Warragul (Fridays starting June 2) and Maffra (Tuesdays starting May 30).
For more information, contact Louise Sundermann on 5624 3900 or email to louise@gippsdairy.com.au