25 July 1997

Performance decides culls

COWS must be culled on performance and not age, and should not be fed in an attempt to boost values.

SACs Basil Lowman says the latest cut in payments under the OTMS scheme increases the onus on producers to get cull cows away quickly.

"This fall will reduce the average cows value by about £55 and feeding cattle will not recoup a reduction of this size."

"These culls will also be using grass that could be fed to growing cattle. Autumn calvers must, therefore, be culled as soon as they are weaned later this month, before the price drop takes effect."

Dr Lowman advises that the basis for culling must be performance and not age because of the relatively high cost of replacing her and any cow which is still producing a calf a year is worth keeping.n