Farmers Weekly and Dairy Update are offering one lucky dairy producer the chance to have a free day's consultation to help highlight the main pinch-points on their system.
In response to Kingshay Dairy Manager figures that show 69% of animals leaving the dairy herd are forced culls, Dairy Update is looking to help producers reduce these costly losses.
In fact, Kingshay calculations show reducing the level of forced culls by 10% across the national herd could save the UK dairy industry £32m.
Whether you are you unhappy with mastitis incidence, keen to boost fertility or unsure of how to maximise herd mobility, a herd appraisal could help locate key areas for attention and boost herd performance.
The selected farmer will be visited by Rob Mintern, 2009 Farmers Weekly Livestock Adviser of the Year and Agrii consultant, who will get an overview of the whole herd, from cow behaviour and ventilation to health records and parlour routine.
"I commonly see pinch-points on farm which could be affecting herd performance," he says. "For example, high levels of persistent mastitis could be due to liner size, cow environment or parlour routine.
"There is room for everyone to reduce the level of forced culls, and particularly first lactation culls, where most losses are seen," he says.
In support of the initiative, Andrew Davies, of Synergy Farm Health from the XL Vets network, says: "Culling cows involuntarily is costly. It also signals a failure of disease control. A planned programme of health management through herd health planning and practical skills training is key to managing culling rates."
| How to get involved|
Send in a summary of why you want to get involved to Aly Balsom, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey or firstname.lastname@example.orgLet us know what areas you would you like to improve on farm and an overview of your system.
We'll then select a farmer to be profiled. The chosen farmer will be visited by Agrii consultant Rob Mintern and Dairy Update editor Aly Balsom. They'll undertake a full review of the system, highlighting key areas for attention. An article on the visit will then appear in print.
In support of Dairy Update's initiative, XLVets is offering free skills training up to the value of £500 through its award-winning FarmSkills programme to the selected farmer and his whole team. The farm will be able to chose from a range of workshops which could help boost herd health on his farm.
Dairy Update is a free magazine offering practical, technical and business advice to the UK's top dairy farmers.
Sign up for your free digital edition at www.fwi.co.uk/digital