Heat stress

With temperatures set to soar next weekend and into the following week, make sure your water supply is up to scratch and all drinking troughs are able to cope with increased demand.

A spring-calving suckler cow and calf can drink 50-60l of water daily and as temperatures rise, water intakes will increase. During very hot periods, try to check on cattle twice daily as if they are out of water for some time they will get agitated. Troughs should be cleaned out in advance as any debris will reduce the water capacity. Dirty water will also be less palatable to cattle. Try to have animals, especially young calves, in fields where there is some shelter from the sun. Young calves can find it more difficult to regulate their temperatures in very hot or very cold weather.

BEEP dates

With cull cows a very good trade some farmers are thinking of weaning early. Be careful with BEEP dates. You don’t need to notify the Department of Agriculture when you intend to start meal feeding or when you are weaning calves. You do need to keep a record of when you started meal feeding and when you weaned calves.

If you are subject to an inspection, you need to provide the inspector with evidence that you have been meal feeding for the required number of weeks around weaning. Meal feeding must start four weeks before weaning and continue for two weeks after. If you are selling weanlings, the Department will have the date of sale and will be able to work back six weeks from this date to look for meal dockets.

Meal must be purchased from a Department-approved stockist. A list of these can be found at www.agriculture.gov.ie. Table 1 below outlines a few key dates.

Health and safety

Farm Safety Week takes place from 19-25 July and a lot of coverage is planned on all Irish Farmers Journal social media, print and digital channels. Our Focus on pages 44-50 outlines some important health and safety tips on keeping you and your family safe this summer.

As part of Farm Safety Week the Irish Farmers Journal is launching a competition over the next few days. Farmers can enter by taking a picture of the farm safety change they have made on their farm and enter the photo into our competition. Go to ifj.ie/onechange and send us a photo of a farm safety measure that you either (1) have already made or (2) would like to make on your farm. Closing date for entries is Tuesday 20 July at 5pm. You can get involved on social media using the hashtag #makeonechange.