Yet every year we see large numbers of cows calving at below target condition and consequently achieving below potential production and profitability.
The BCS initiative has been developed to help farmers achieve their cow condition targets by calving.
We have trained advisers certified in body condition score assessment to support farmers one-on-one and to develop plans to address below target cows.
Funded by DairyNZ, these advisers will body condition score the herd three times (late lactation, dry off and pre-calving) and work with farmers to identify cows that are unlikely to reach BCS 5.0 by calving without some intervention and find workable solutions to get these cows back on track.
Now in its fourth year, the BCS Initiative is to be run in Westland and Coastal Bay of Plenty (see map here). It has previously been run in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu and Canterbury.
BCS focus for Canterbury, Northland farmers
A body condition scoring (BCS) programme will guide 300 Canterbury and Northland
dairy farmers through a comprehensive programme to achieve BCS targets pre-calving. More info.
Project reveals BCS insights
Current high milk prices and the prospect of lower milk prices next season increases the
temptation to extend the milking season at the expense of cow condition. Such a strategy
could impact on subsequent milk production, reproduction and animal welfare. More info.