GB sees tightening in calving blocks

Published 5 October 17

Although 80% of farmers describe themselves as all year round producers, there has been a concentration of calvings in the peak months of August/September and February/March over the last 10 years. These now account for 40% of total annual calvings, compared to 36% in 2006/07. 

From 2006/07 to 2011/12 there was an increase of nearly 3% in the proportion of total annual calvings occurring in the peak spring months of February and March. However, the proportion of calvings in August and September fell by 1% in the same period.

Looking at the last 5 years though, spring calvings have concentrated further in February and March, up by 0.4% in 2016/17 compared to 2011/12. As well as this, the proportion of calvings in August and September rose by 1.9% in the same period.

In context, a tighter calving block can help reduce cost of production. AHDB has previously shown how concentrating calving into a 12 week block can bring down the cost of production by between 1.1 and 2.4ppl compared to all-year-round calving.