Good herd fertility is fundamental to running a profitable and sustainable dairy farm. The InCalf project has resources that cover all the key areas necessary for improving your herd’s reproductive performance.
InCalf discussion modules
Fertility Focus Report
Repro Right advisers
InCalf Symposium 2017 Proceedings (PDF, 5MB)
InCalf case study videos
Simon Portwine – InCharge fertility program
Northern Victoria farmer, Simon Portwine has focused on improving fertility as it’s a key driver of profit on his 330-cow dairy farm. Selecting for fertility, ensuring a rising plane of energy for cows at joining and using collars for automatic heat detection are strategies Simon has put in place after learning more about fertility through Dairy Australia’s InCharge program.
Nathan Gledhill – Repro Right
Fixed time AI, bigger heifers and building a younger herd are some of the strategies Northern Vic dairy farmer Nathan Gledhill has put in place to improve reproductive performance on the 900-cow dairy farm he manages at Bamawm. With help of his vet and AI technician who have both reinforced their skills and knowledge on fertility through Dairy Australia’s Repro Right program, Nathan has seen his six-week incalf rate on the 60/40 split calving herd go from 60% to 70% over five years.
Bonnie Taylor - Improving fertility
A strong focus on data collection and quarterly analysis of herd data has seen West Vic dairy farmer Bonnie Taylor condense the calving period within her and her husband's 500-cow herd significantly.
Bruce Vallance - Maintaining a low percentage of empty cows in an 800-cow split calving herd
Western district farmer Bruce Vallance and his wife Andrea concentrate on achieving good fertility in their 800-cow herd to ensure they calve the cows when they want them to calve so that they utilize available feed and give them enough heifer replacements to sustain herd numbers. This makes whole farm planning much easier throughout the year in terms of managing their labour requirements and resources. They have achieved good fertility in the herd over the last seven years through an intense crossbreeding program, using fixed time AI, lead feeding and by placing an emphasis on industry training programs for staff education.
Callum Moscript - Improving fertility in a seasonal calving herd
Gippsland dairy farmer Callum Moscript has identified that in his seasonal calving herd, cows that do not get pregnant, cannot stay in the herd. By maintaining a tight calving pattern, he can ensure grass is a key ingredient of the diet, making cost of production a lot lower and the farm much more viable long term. He has achieved this through concentrating on a combination of fertility and production in his genetics program.
Nick Strong - Maintaining days in milk around 160 days drives profit in a year-round calving herd
Dairy farmers Nick and Emma Strong calve 400 cows all year-round on their NSW south coast dairy farm. By maintaining days in milk around 160 days, they drive higher production from the same feed inputs capitalizing on the fact that the fresher the herd, the greater the production and the greater the profit. Nick believes that vital to achieving days in milk around 160 days is the maintenance of good herd fertility which is driven by the quality of data collected and analysed and the veterinary service that attends the farm regularly. He also places a great deal of importance on staff training in areas such as heat detection and the culling of non-performing cows based on production, fertility and health data.
Phil Tate - Profitability in a year-round calving herd is driven by high fertility
Phil Tate on the south coast of NSW, milks 580 cows that calve all year-round. He has achieved major improvements in the reproductive performance of the herd by making hard culling decisions to significantly lift the 100-day ICR and 80-day submission rate. The other vital driver he concentrated on was to get the days in milk below 175 days so that he could get cows in calf early, thus improving profitability. He maintains good fertility in the herd by keeping excellent data records, engaging professional veterinary services on a regular basis, having good facilities, an efficient transition cow management program and placing emphasis on staff training, utilizing Dairy Australia courses in areas such as nutrition, transition cow management and pastures for profit.