A LARGE audience enjoyed an informative evening at the Drinagh Co-Op Spring Dairy Seminar in the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen last week.
The seminar, which was chaired by Drinagh chairman Richard Connell, included speakers Sean Coughlan, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF); Dr Jason van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response and Dr Finbar Mulligan, University College Dublin. Sean Coughlan presented the audience with an insight in to the technical database at ICBF and the benefits to farmers from information recording and the return of this information in an easy-to-understand format. He also gave an overview of the economic breeding index (EBI) and highlighted how genomic information will play a key role in farm decision-making in the years ahead.
Dr Jason is the medical director with West Cork Rapid Response and has seen first-hand the dangers of farming. He pointed out that farmers are the most at risk workforce in Ireland. He urged farmers to think out and rehearse the immediate measures to be taken in the event of an accident. All family members should be involved in this process.
He highlighted the dangers of farm machinery and the main steps to be taken in the event of an accident on farm, such measures include the stopping of the machine, analgesia and stemming blood loss.
Dr Finbar Mulligan gave an excellent outline of transition cow management. The transition cow is the period from three weeks before until three weeks after calving. He explained that most disease conditions of dairy cows commence in the weeks around calving and stressed the importance of getting this crucial time of year right. The key areas of his presentation focused on correct cow body condition score, dry cow minerals and cow nutrition both before and after calving.
In summary it was a seminar that was marked by diverse speakers, covering a range of relevant topics. The evening concluded with a lively questions and answers session.