For the most part, dairy cows are now housed as weather conditions have made land too wet to graze, so now is the time to move cull cows into housing.
Grazing has now become almost impossible and full-time housing has now taken place on most farms.
With cows now housed, the majority of their diet is going to be made up of silage and considering the challenges faced by harvesting forage – cull cows should not be eating it.
The heavy rain has forced most farmers to house their cows for the winter months, although some have been able to get out for short periods of time.
The majority of cows are now fully housed, and most herds have undergone a scan to determine the success of the breeding season.
Any cull cows that remain within the herd should be removed and sent to the factory or mart.
When milk price is satisfactory, there can be a temptation to milk cows on for as long as possible, however that is not the case this year.
Milk production in spring-calving cows is quite low at this time of year, with the majority of milk sales complete.
During this time of the year, any milk sold from these cows likely to be sold at a loss.
You also have to factor in why these cows are culled; some will be culled because they did not go in-calf. Others will be culled for reasons connected to production, so there is no need for milking to take place.
Plans should be implemented to get these cows off farms within the next few days to reduce the demand on silage supplies.