Essay about Benefits And Disadvantages Of Seasonal Management
Have you ever wondered why some farms calve in the spring while others calve in the fall? Or why some farms calve all year long? If you happen to ask one of those farmers why, you might have received an answer along the lines of “We’ve always done it this way around here” or something equally as vague. The calving system employed varies greatly between countries and regions based on the climate as well as the milk pricing system, but can also vary within smaller areas based on management decisions and goals, feeding systems and housing. There are advantages and disadvantages to every system, but if the right one is chosen the benefits will outweigh the costs.
The basic premise of seasonal calving is that this system can be managed for optimum input and output. Forage growth is seasonal, so employing seasonal calving allows the dry period to coincide with periods when forage is least available or is of lower quality. It also makes it easier to calve heifers first, which reduces the exposure to bacteria that occurs when multiparous cows calve. This system is popular in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel.
Season Spring Calving
(Northern Hemisphere) February - April
• Cows are dry in the winter
• Majority of nutrients can come from forage, resulting in minimal hay/supplement required
• Cost of milk production is lower