DairyNZ’s new InCalf programme manager Samantha Tennent says the course teaches key knowledge in fertility and steps that can improve dairy cows’ reproductive performance. The training is for anyone interested in improving cows’ reproduction, including vets, rural professionals and farmers.
“As a sector we need to be working together to help lift the current national average six-week in-calf rate from 66%, closer to the sector target of 78%,” Samantha says.
“There are many factors that influence reproduction and it can be challenging for farmers to do everything they need to do at the right time to achieve good results. Sometimes it’s a lack of awareness or knowledge and we know that people who attend InCalf training know how to identify opportunities for improvement.”
Operating for the past decade in New Zealand, the programme was originally adapted from Australia for New Zealand conditions. “DairyNZ has worked with InCalf trainers to modernise the programme, including reducing the number of paper resources,” Samantha says.
The new training format is known as InCalf Foundations and is designed to help attendees understand and prioritise drivers of fertility. Those who take part will understand the economic benefits of good reproductive performance in a herd and learn how to maximise use of the InCalf resources, including interpreting the Fertility Focus Report that is part of the InCalf programme.
“The principles of InCalf help raise awareness of a year-round approach to reproduction for good performance, rather than focusing only on the mating period. It’s important not to wait till it’s too late to address issues,” Samantha says.
To make the training more convenient, the course has been reduced to two days but participants will get the same amount of learning.
“We are looking forward to delivering the updated programme,” Samantha says.
Courses are being held in Hamilton 20 and 21 November, and Ashburton 27 and 28 November. DairyNZ encourages people to sign up as soon as possible as spaces are limited.
To find out more about the InCalf training programme including how to take part, head along to DairyNZ’s website: dairynz.co.nz/incalf
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