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Where do you start when it comes to fertility problems?

Part 1 - Working as a team to cure retained cleansings and metritis - the plan.
Part 2 - Working as a team to cure retained cleansings and metritis - the results.

Less Can Be More - British Dairying, October 2008
Reducing cow numbers when they are overcrowded can have positive effects on performance

Reducing costs by feeding more wheat safely - British Dairying, September 2008
Utilising low cost wheat in the ration without rumen upsets. This does not involve feeding high cost sugar beet pulp.

Dairy Industry booms in China - British Dairying, July 2008
From peasants to perfection. Robert Cope reports on a visit to China to see milk producers and milk processors.

Using concentrates wisely - British Dairying, April 2008
Here are some valuable tips on saving expensive concentrates this summer

Out of date cow weights - British Dairying, January 2008
Cows are heavier than you think. Nutritionists and veterinarains should take note that they are under estimating cow weights and this has an impact on rationing and dosage rates.

Protein, Protein, Protein - British Dairying, November 2006
Deficiencies in autumn grass; DUP supplements - the sale more important than cow welfare; Protein levels in computer rations

Short of forage? - British Dairying, September 2006
If you are short of forage for the winter, Robert Cope advises on what actions to take

Dispelling fertility myths - British Dairying, August 2006
Independent nutritionist Robert Cope reports from a somewhat controversial meeting held in Staffordshire recently, which looked at nutrition and fertility in dairy herds

Are your rations the correct dry matter? - British Dairying, June 2006
The correct dry matter is vital for high yielding cows to produce to their potential in early lactation. Yet nutritionists rarely refer to dry matter says Robert Cope

Nutritionally Improved Straw to make a comeback? - British Dairying, April 2006
Does Nutritionally Improved Straw (NIS) have a place in the diets of modern dairy cows? Independent nutritionist Robert Cope thinks it does.

Ration rascals and computer cheats - British Dairying, October 2005
Are you getting the best nutritional advice? Robert cope reckons many dairy farmers are being given poor advice, which could lead to excessive weight loss, and disappointing milk yields.

Brown Swiss under scrutiny - British Dairying, August 2005
The debate over high yielding cows and grazed grass rolls on as independent nutritionist Robert Cope visits one of his critics with a Brown Swiss herd - and he is impressed!

Stirring up a hornets' nest - British Dairying, April 2005
Following the article on feeding high yielding cows at grass, Robert Cope has had a raft of phone calls from readers, some complimentary, some not so. Here he answers his critics.

Solving the problem of feeding high yielding cows at grass - British Dairying, March 2005
Robert Cope questions the benefits of spring grass. He suggests high yielding cows are better off lying on it rather than eating it!

Manure Connoisseur - British Dairying, March 2002.
What goes in must come out! And the consistency of it can tell you a great deal about whether or not the cows' diet is correct. Robert cope goes into "depth" about how to identify if it's right, and what to do if it isn't.

Is the Feed Rep in danger of becoming extinct?
Is your Feed Rep worth £11/tonne? Robert Cope doesn't think so. Read why he reckons buying groups are better value.

Make your cows talk to you!
There really is a way to make your cows tell what is wrong with their ration and how they are being managed. I have used this service to listen to cows for almost 25 years. Don't believe cows can talk - then read on..

Buffer feeding high yielding cows at grass
This is essential to maintain production and fertility. This article features areas such as: Why buffer feed at grazing? How should buffer be fed? When should buffer be fed? What should buffer consist of?

Feeding the fresh calved cow
One of the toughest challenges that dairy farmers face is getting fresh cows off to a fast start. Robert Cope answers these and more questions: How much compound after calving? How quickly to maximum compound levels? Which Feed additives to use? In which milking group should I put cows after they calve?

Dry cows and pre calvers
Here we take a look at that tricky subject - dry cows. I believe pre calvers are the most important animal in the herd, and should be pampered.

Lameness prevention and control
A lot of rubbish is talked when it comes to lameness. Magic potion sellers have a field day, yet it is more likely to be other factors that cause this widespread problem.

High twinning rates lead to less profitable cows. We look at the costs of twins, why they happen and what you can do about it.

Yeast - is it worth using?
The short answer is yes! But you need to know where it is most effective and which type is best value.

The inclusion of high quality maize silage has lifted yields by 3 litres at Pen Y Graig, Abergwili, Carmarthen. This is even more impressive when the previous yield was a pretty good 31 litres!

Using “Cow know how” and Science to diagnose and solve nutritional problems
Darren and Stuart McMurran farm around 500 acres at Castlevennon Road, Banbridge, Co. Down, about 20 miles south of Belfast. In the five years they have been here, they have increased cow numbers to 300 and installed a new 24:48 Dairymaster parlour to cope with the herd expansion.

Leicestershire herd enjoys massive performance boost
Bob Meakin at Glen Farm near Melton Mowbray has seen a massive increase in performance during the last 12 months. Milk yields have improved by over 600 litres a cow and feed rate per litre has fallen, following my taking over the consultancy just over a year ago.

In the last year, nutritional changes have added 800 litres per cow and improved fertility on a Norfolk dairy unit.
All too often, increased milk yield per cow means lower fertility efficiency. We have bucked the trend following nutritional changes at Mill Farm.

Eight months to improve N Ireland herd
Back in July 2010, having concluded my presentation at a Genus open day at Darren and Stuart McMurran’s farm, Banbridge, Co Down, on how my nutritional changes had improved milk yield and fertility, Dean Wright approached me. “Can you do the same for my cows?” he asked.

What a difference a year makes
Charlie Weir farms in Warringstown, N Ireland. Back in 1930 his father, John, ran a mixed farm of 58 acres. Charlie milked 60 cows in 1988 when he was 18 years old and numbers increased to 115 in 2001.

Changes on a Gloucestershire unit have brought improvements, but not without several problems to solve along the way.
Chris Shield and his father, Richard, run 250 milkers and 240 young stock at Arlingham, Gloucestershire. In October 2010 he contacted me as he was unhappy with the performance of the herd and he wanted independent advice.

All comments are the opinion of Robert Cope. No responsibility is accepted for any actions taken without a review of the farming practice or management

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