People In Dairy
Farm Safety at Calving.
A quarter of Irish farm accidents are livestock related. Attacks by recently calved cows are a common cause of such accidents:
• Never turn your back on the cow when handling the newborn calf.
• As far as possible keep a gate or barrier between you and the cow when removing the calf.
• Calving can be an anxious time - facilities such as a calving camera, calving gate and non-slip calving jack can reduce the stress levels on both farmer and animals.
• For calving indoors, good lighting is essential for safety and efficiency in dealing with the birth.
Fatigue may also be a safety factor which may impair good judgement - take care at this busy time of the year.
• Be aware of zoonotic infections which can be contracted by farmers and their vets around calving. Always
wear arm length gloves and washable protective clothing and boots.
Looking After Yourself At This Busy Time
During February and March, it can feel like there is too much to do and not enough time. Studies have shown that your productivity is about your energy and focus, and not time. So to maintain your energy levels at this time, it is important that you:
· get enough sleep – don’t sacrifice sleep as sooner or later, it will catch up with you;
· eat well – plenty of healthy foods, including fruit and vegetables;
· drink plenty of water;
· take time off – nobody can work continuously;
· focus on the most important tasks – calving cows, grassland management, feeding calves – and let others take responsibility for other tasks, e.g., machinery tasks including fertiliser and slurry spreading.
Kerry Agribusiness recently engaged with 20 milk suppliers on a pilot labour workshop. This was a comprehensive accredited QQI skills course geared towards individuals that are currently employing or plan to take on additional labour. In addition, it focused on labour efficiency and those seeking to develop the skills needed to work well with people coming on farm to work/provide a service.
The participants rated the sharing of experiences within the group very highly. Feedback on key learnings included, an improved understanding of employment law, working with different personality types, communication, time management and planning ahead.
Engaging with Next Generation Farmers – Grazing Management Competition
25 teenage Grazing Management Competition participants from the farms of milk suppliers in Kerry and Limerick recently attended a two-hour training session to get an overview of grassland management techniques and training on grass measurement. The students are required to identify one or more paddocks in Autumn 2017 and manage/monitor the paddock(s) over the winter period to ensure the paddock(s) can be grazed for a minimum of 4 days in February 2018. Entries will be judged on grass quantity, quality and the grazing management techniques used in spring 2018.