Milk producers have doubled down on efficiencies and are boosting herd health and fertility, confirms the latest Kingshay Dairy costings report.
Looking at the main health incidences recorded in Kingshay Health Manager, producers have improved herd health and cases of mastitis, lameness, and other diseases have all declined.
The report shows that lameness has fallen from 43 cases per cow to 35 cases over the past five years. Similarly, mastitis levels have fallen from 41 cases per cow to 30 casesover the same time period.
Downward trends can be attributed to more mobility scoring and improved foot management, and stringent culling protocols have helped reduce both lameness and mastitis cases, says the study.
The report highlights the correlation between improved health and fertility gains. Metritis is an important cause of infertility, with infertility being the top reason for culling at 25%. Compared with last year, cases of metritis have fallen by 18.8%.
Economically, higher cull values and enhanced efficiencies have seen the cost of infertility drop by 9.6% to £1.87p/litre. Calving interval rolled back by four days to 393 days and services per conception also improved to 2.3 services per conception.
And while there was no change to conception rate (38%) and culling for infertility (6.7%), there was an improvement in both the 100-day in-calf rate and the 200 day not in-calf rate, the latter falling sharply from 16% to 13%.
Kingshay senior farm services manager Kathryn Rowland suggested further gains could be made. At a cost of £5.23/cow for each extra calving interval day, the sums quickly added up to £1,046 per day in a 200-cow herd.