Gwern Hefin, Llanycil, Bala

Focus site project: The cost benefit of rearing your own dairy heifers

Project aims

  • The potential cost benefit of heifer synchronisation to achieve a tight spring calving block whilst moving from an AYR (all-year-round) herd which will allow improved utilisation and more milk produced from forage during periods of higher grass growth will be calculated.
  • The potential cost benefit of different breeding programmes involving sexed semen on bulling heifers which include, natural heats, synchronised heat using a CIDR (Controlled Internal Drug Release) (PRID) and natural service with a bull will be calculated.
  • With new water regulations in force in Wales and an upcoming cap on nitrogen usage per hectare, producers must think carefully how they manage stocking rates in the next few years. The project will also assess the impact of home-reared heifers on the farm’s total kgN/ha. As heifers will be reared on-farm as opposed to being bought in at the point of calving or already calved, the kgN produced via organic manure will have to be included in the whole farm calculation.

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