Suckler farmers should be now keeping a close eye on spring-calving cows for signs of repeat breeding activity.

Where breeding started in late May to early June, the first cows to be served will be coming back in heat if they did not hold to the initial service.

There will always be a few animals that repeat. But if there is a high number of animals coming back in heat, then there may be a fertility problem to address.

Such a problem may be down to an infertile or sub-fertile bull, mineral deficiency or a disease suppressing cow fertility.

Recording cows

Regardless, herd owners need to investigate immediately and take remedial action to avoid a high number of barren cows. This is where recording cows observed in heat comes into its own.

Where tag numbers were recorded for cows served in early June, herd owners know exactly which animals to be watching for now.

Continue to watch the rest of the herd, noting down cow numbers as they are observed in heat, so that these animals can be monitored again in three weeks' time.

Read more

Agri jobs: New Zealand still calling for Irish dairy workers

US heatwave kills thousands of cattle