THERE’S always something to be learned at an organised on-farm visit and such will be the case at an event this Friday, January 22 being facilitated by the local branch of Holstein Australia.
And you don’t have to be a member to come along.
Following on from last year’s successful ‘Twilight Field Night’ at the Foote’s dairy farm at Fish Creek, this year’s event is being held at the Densleys Road, Nerrena property of Terry and Janine Clark.
The Clarks are well-known for the ability to breed true-to-type Holsteins at the very top of the scale and they’ll have some of their high-scoring cows on display, kept back from evening milking for you to see them in the best light.
There’ll be 15 or 20 of them in the group, among them the highest point scoring cow (Exc 91) in the recent Semex judging and also a three year old cow, rated VG89, the maximum possible score for a cow in its second lactation.
So, the evening will start off at 7pm with a chat about the Clark’s breeding program and a look at the cows to be followed by a free BBQ dinner.
“After dinner we’ve got Dr Phil Hentschke, a qualified vet and also Holstein Australia’s chief classifier who’ll be presenting his famous ‘bag of bones’ cow skeletal structure talk,” said Terry.
“I heard it before and it’s quite interesting to hear how a certain structure in a cow is important for production, calving etc.”
There’ll be time for questions and chat.
“I’ll also be talking about our use of the Heatime system, which we started using about six months ago, and have found it has allowed us to submit a lot more cows for AI.”
Terry said the activity and rumination data collection tag around the cow’s neck gives clear information about when a cow is cycling allowing for better informed decisions about joining.
When the activity level spikes, according to Terry, and rumination is down, the data automatically opens the gate, keeping the cow back for AI.
More cows being submitted for AI means better breeding decisions on a number of levels.
The monitoring devices also offer other valuable data opportunities and Terry will be happy to discuss the effectiveness of the system with those who attend.
The event will be held this Friday, January 22, starting at 7pm at the Clark family farm, Densleys Road, Nerrena. All welcome.
Twilight field day focus on better dairy cows