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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Jamie and Loraine Kealy

This week Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Jamie and Loraine Kealy’s farm in Slaney Quarter, Tullow, Co Carlow.

Jamie and Loraine Kealy milk 92 Holstein Friesian cows on their 51 hectare farm in Slaney Quarter, Tullow, Co Carlow. ‘We farm 51 hectares in total, of which 14 ha is owned. The milk platform consists of the 37 ha which is all leased,’ explained Jamie. This year marks the third year that the Kealy’s have been involved in milk production. ‘We plan to milk 105 cows by 2018,’ said Jamie.

Current Farm performance

Milk Kg/Day 23.06
Fat % 4.34
Protein % 3.81
Milk Solids/Day Kg 1.88
Meal Kg/cow/day 3
Meal Kg/cow/day 670
Cover per Cow 256
Pre Grazing Yield kgdm/ha 1400
Demand kgdm/ha 45
Growth kgdm/ha 62

The average farm cover is slightly behind target (800 kgdm/ha). Jamie plans to feed silage this week to get the grass back on target. ‘We should be able to keep silage out of the diet until next November, if we experience good growth this week. We aim to close the farm at an average farm cover of 700 kgdm/ha. The meal will be reduced to 2kg next week,’ explained Jamie.

Grass wedge 31/08/2016

This is a very dry farm and Jamie hopes to have grass in the diet until late November. The farm will be blanket spread with 30 units of CAN per acre this week. This will be the final round of nitrogen.

Grass Budget

Fat % trends over the last 3 years

The overall fat percentage is much higher this year than the previous two years. However, protein percentage has slipped slightly behind. Last year the cows produced 480kgms/hd. This year Jamie hopes to produce 20 kg of milk solids more per cow. This year the herd is divided between first, second and third lactation.

Protein % trends over the last 3 years

Breeding update

92% of the cows scanned in calf after 11 weeks breeding. 100% of heifers scanned in calf. 74% of the herd should be calved in the first 3 weeks and 92% after 6 weeks.

Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme offers his advice to farmers; ‘In terms of Nitrogen application, blanket spread the farm now. All your bag nitrogen must be used before 15 September. If you spread after this date you are subject to a penalty and response will be poor. In order to be in a position to apply 30 units per acre on all acres of the milking platform, farmers must apply none or very little on outside land blocks.’

‘It is very important to get yourself grazing the correct paddocks now so that you will be grazing the correctly situated paddocks in the spring. You should be able to graze the driest paddocks first in spring,’ explained Richard.

First published 2nd September 2016

Tagged with: Agribusiness All Dairy GII

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