Team and Leader CS Mayne
Organisations Involved Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland, Veterinary Science Division and Biometrics Division, Department of Agriculture C S Mayne, M. McCoy, F J. Gordon, W J McCaughey and E Goodall
Background and Summary
Poor reproductive performance is a major problem on dairy farms across Northern Ireland, resulting in considerable financial loss. The objective of this proposal is to establish a research programme, which will:
(a) determine the nature and extent of the problem on Northern Ireland farms
(b) identify if this problem is increasing and if so via what route
(c) establish on-farm management routines which will improve reproductive rate.
Two complementary approaches will be used to undertake this research involving firstly, analysis of fertility data from controlled feeding studies undertaken at Hillsborough and secondly on-farm data recording on a number of dairy farms across Northern Ireland.
1. Provide detailed data on reproductive performance and impact on herd profitability.
2. Identify on-farm management routines to improve fertility thereby:
(i) Reducing need for intervention treatments and hence improving consumer perception of milk production
(ii) Reduced culling for infertility thereby increasing cow longevity + lowering replacement rate
(iii) Facilitating tighter calving patterns thereby simplifying overall herd management.