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Dairy farms - Overview of electric fencing and weighing and electronic identification (EID) systems

Saturday, 01 January, 2022

This introductory article provides a short overview on how electric fencing and weighing and electronic identification (EID) systems are essential tools in driving continuous improvement in any dairy farming operation.

Grazing Management

Pasture-based dairy farming systems benefit from different electric fencing solutions for feed allocation and feed management:

  • Permanent subdivision including laneway systems
  • Temporary fencing for further subdivision during winter and other periods
  • Feeding of standing forage crops
  • Fencing of feeding pads and housing systems

Water Management

Water supply is also another critical factor on dairy farms providing stock water and milking parlour water demands. Water reticulation systems need to have sufficient flow capacity and storage to even out the daily peaks in demand.

Gallagher water level monitoring systems help farmers to monitor their storage levels and to identify any problems before water supply impacts animal performance.

Heifer Growth Management

Achieving strong and consistent heifer performance when they enter the milking herd is also vital to the ongoing survival of any dairy farm. Increasing volumes of research demonstrate that adequate growth rates from weaning through to mating and then calving are critical for achieving desired in-calf rates. In addition this also has a knock-on effect to season one and two production expectations relative to production potential at full maturity.

Weighing and EID systems provide the perfect tool for managing the growing of heifer replacements. This becomes even more important in seasonal production systems, where the timing of calving is absolutely critical to the following years’ performance.

Reproductive Performance Management

Monitoring of dairy cow liveweight over her lactation cycle is becoming more and more important, particularly in seasonal production systems predominant in NZ and Australia. Adequate feeding post calving to achieve desired condition prior to mating is important for conception rates (See DairyNZ's InCalf Programme for more information).

Drying off at the tail end of the season should be based on cow condition rather than production, to ensure cows can achieve desired condition prior to calving and the start of the following season. Gallagher’s automatic dairy scale weighing system is integrated into many herd management systems to provide the accurate data for managing this activity, in addition to the monitoring of feed regime on herd live weight trend during the season.

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“The most successful dairy farming strategies are those that focus on the farm management dynamics that are within their control.”