As we enter the first week of spring, it is time for farmers that are operating an autumn-calving system to be reviewing the success of their breeding season during the winter.

Cows should only be scanned once farmers are confident that 35 days has passed since she was served. Ideally, farmers should have AI'ing dates on hand for each cow or the known withdrawal date of the stock bull from the breeding herd.

Why should I scan?

There are a number of benefits from completing scanning, but the main reason is that it will tell you whether or not you are going to have a calf next autumn.

The factor of twins can also be identified at scanning, if going in at the right time to scan.

It will show up any cows that are scanning empty and farmers can then make the choice of possibly finishing these cows once they have weaned their calves.

Scanning will also give you a predicted time of calving, so cows can be grouped and fed pre-calving in accordance with their scanning dates.

Vaccinations for pre-calving cows can also be judged off the scanning results to ensure that they are given at the correct time.

Peak calving times will be noted and farmers can prepare in terms of labour for the autumn-calving season for 2021.

In an unfortunate situation where a high percentage of cows are showing up not in-calf, farmers may then have to look at the issue of in-fertility.

If using a stock bull he may need to be fertility tested and observed mating a cow. However, if the bull is not the issue, there may be a disease or a mineral deficiency that is causing the problem which may require further investigation.