Check suckler condition
SUCKLER producers who kept rather than sold their previous calf crop in the spring sales are urged to check cow condition.
"In some cases, where producers decided not to sell calves last spring but kept them for grazing over summer, cows are in extremely poor condition, at or below score two," says Scottish Agricultural College beef specialist, Basil Lowman. If cows are thin, he advises weaning the calves. "It is four times more efficient to feed the calf directly compared with feeding the cow to produce milk to grow the calf."
For autumn calvers it is critical to increase feed levels to maintain herd fertility – at least 3kg of concentrate a cow a day may be needed. Condition of spring calvers must be improved two months pre-calving. *