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What's up Doc - Feb 2021

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Richard Mason

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26 February 2021

The dry weather is starting to bite now. and many areas are well into feeding out The rain has been very localised and was a bit too much in Morrinsville, when part of the town flooded. The rain has delayed the dry about 5 weeks later in many areas. it is hard to believe that last year a number of farmers were preparing to dry off at this time.

This rain will push up spore counts. Counts had been moderately high a couple of weeks ago but were trending down with the dry weather. However, following this rain ,all stock should be on full rates of zinc now.

Individual spore count monitoring is the gold standard for knowing what spore counts are on your farm. We can test samples for you- call the clinic and we can tell you how to collect useful samples.

As a general rule, all young stock should now have boluses if required. Also, be aware that pasture worm levels will increase rapidly following rain, so we recommend that calves are treated for worms over the next 2- 3 weeks.

We have been busy pregnancy testing herds. In-calf rates have been very variable. It appears many herds experienced a high level of long returns in November. In general the results are tracking to show about a 2-3% increase in the average empty rate, and total mating length to be reduced by approx 2 days compared with last season. See graph right for the results so far. While there is not a distinct line there is quite a cluster concentrated around that 75 days, 13% empty rate. Though a calculated average (median, including the outliers) is around 15.4% empty. There has been great uptake of electronic recording this season with many of you choosing to use the MINDA app to record pregnancy test results. We find this to be faster than flipping through 6 pages of dates and less opportunity to make a recording error due to the data only being handled once.

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