As the spring-calving period draws to a close, it’s time for dairy farmers to make sure valuable records in their trusty paddock notebook are transferred to computer records, either on the farm PC or at the herd test centre.
Michelle Axford from the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) said it could be tempting to delay transferring calf records until a heifer’s first calving.
“By then the paddock book may have gone through the wash, or been lost, and if any of the information needs clarification, it may be too long ago to remember.”
Calf records serve a variety of purposes, including establishing an animal’s pedigree, which influences its financial and breeding values.
“For most dairy businesses, the herd is the second most valuable asset so it’s worth looking after the information that contributes to that value,” Ms Axford said.
“Plus there’s an added bonus from getting calf information into herd records early: your herds Genetic Progress Report will be more accurate.
”If you herd record, you will automatically receive a Genetic Progress Report after the April and August release of Australian Breeding Values (ABVs).
“Having calf records entered into the system from an early age means your herds genetic progress report will show the impact of more recent breeding decisions,” Ms Axford said.
“Having this feedback sooner means you can take action earlier if needed.
“Without calf records, your Genetic Progress Report will always be lagging for the most recent two years.
“It’s definitely worth making the effort to get your paddock records into your herd recording system in the next few weeks.”
For more information, contact Ms Axford at ADHIS on (03) 8621 4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org