A Dairy Australia initiative upskilling dairy professionals to deliver higher quality reproduction services to farmers is helping to lift performance in Australia's dairy herds.
Five Repro Rights courses have been completed in recent years with 13 advisers from around Australia taking part in the latest round including vets, agronomists, herd managers, and extension field staff.
An intensive 10-month professional development program, Repro Right improves the adviser's ability to provide intensive problem-solving and whole herd reproductive management services to dairy farmers.
The program incorporates a mixture of on-line learning, multi-day group sessions, assignments and practical tasks on important elements of reproductive management in Australian dairy systems.
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Tasmanian vet and dairy farmer Grant Rogers was one of the participants and said Repro Right gave a complete approach to understanding how reproduction fitted into a farming system with a particular focus on how to use Dairy Data software to assess performance.
"The course looks at reproduction from the perspective of the farm operation rather than at an individual, which is really helpful, especially for some of the younger vets on the course," he said.
Mr Rogers said Repro Right looked at more than just insemination.
The course looked holistically at everything that impacts on reproduction from nutrition and animal management to calf rearing and heifer growing.
Mr Rogers said that in the past some processors in Australia had incentivised flatter production which has had an ongoing impact on repro performance on dairy farms.
A vet for 27 years based at Ouse, Mr Rogers, provides advice and support to larger dairy farmers on average of about 750 cows.
"There is a lot of value from the course in creating networks, which is good for everyone," he said.
"I have a good network to draw on but I've formed even closer relationships with other advisers across Australia."
Consultant Andrew Perry runs the course for Dairy Australia and said the effect of reproduction performance on dairy business profitability can be obvious but also very subtle.
"Improving reproductive performance can be very complex with long lead times before you see results and generic advice being very limited," he said.
"Repro Right provides dairy information and advice so these experts can better investigate any problems, looking at past performance with a strong use of data , to make targeted decisions that translate to efficient and profitable dairy farming for the industry."
For more information on Repro Right advisers in different regions visit dairyaustralia.com.au.
This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer