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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Paddy O’Gorman

This week Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Paddy’s farm in Clonmel. Paddy milks 154 Holstein Friesian cows on his 60 hectare milking platform.

Current Farm Situation

Milk Yield (litres /cow/day) 18
Fat (%) 4.36
Protien (%) 3.71
Milk solids kg (MS/cow/day) 1.49
Meal (kg/cow/day) 2
Average Farm (Cover kgdm/ha) 552
Cover per cow (kgdm/cow) 210
Pre grazing yield (dm/ha) 1300
Demand (kg/ha/day) 42
Growth (kg/ha/day) 59

This week

‘The rain at the weekend was very welcome. Silage is now out of the diet and covers should now build up with good growth forecast on the horizon,’ said Paddy. Paddy recently reseeded 2 hectares with a mixture of Abergain and Aberchoice.

‘The farm will be blanket spread with two bags of 18-6-12 per acre this week,’ explained Paddy. So far this year, Paddy has applied 230kg/ha of nitrogen and 400kg of meal fed per cow.

The cows have produced 246 kgms/cow to date, compared to 238 kgms/cow last year. The average price received up to July milk was 25.85c/l.

Grass wedge 22 August

Autumn grass budget 2016

Paddy recently completed his autumn grass budget. This will give him a good indication of how to feed his herd for the rest of the year. He should be able to leave silage out of the diet until the middle of October. He will continue to feed 2kg of meal for the rest of the year. The demand per hectare is low at 42. Paddy does not want to graze too many heavy covers therefore he wants to keep pre grazing at 2000kgdm/ha or less. He is targeting a maximum average farm cover of 1000kgdm/ha in the middle of September.

Grass Growth

From the grass growth figures for this year, the farm started off very slowly but since May grass growth has been very good.

Long term Goals

"I'd like to see myself in a situation where I'm doing half the milkings or so. I want to grow more grass and produce more milk. We want to produce as much milk from the milking platform as we can, this is key. We've invested heavily over the last 12 to 18 months. There is only one thing that will pay for it, so milk will have to go through the pipes.”

Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, highlights the importance of measuring grass; ‘Farmers that are not measuring grass should use rotation length to build grass. By 1 September, rotation length should be 30 days,’ said Richard.

‘Farmers following the Teagasc autumn grazing targets in September need to be able to calculate each days grazing area. This can be calculated by dividing the area of the milking platform by the length of the rotation. For example, if a 40 hectare farm is to hit autumn grazing targets, the farmer needs to graze 1.33ha each day (40 hectares/30 days). By the 1 October, he will divide the 40 hectares into 40 parts and graze 1 ha per day,’ explained Richard.

First Published 25 August 2016

Tagged with: GII Agribusiness All Dairy

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