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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Jamie 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 93 Holstein Friesian cows on their 51 hectare farm in Slaney Quarter, Tullow, Co Carlow. 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 Performance

Milk Yield 27.2 kg
Protein % 3.35
Fat % 4.35
Milk Solids per cow 2.09
Average farm cover 672
Cover per cow 200
Demand 50
Growth 34
Concentrates (kg) 4


On Wednesday 13 April, a farm walk was held on Jamie and Loraine’s farm under the joint programme between Teagasc and Glanbia. The main topics discussed were the current situation on the farm, financial planning and farm infrastructure planning.

Current Farm Situation

Jamie believes that the farm looks very lush at the moment and that growth is ready to take off. ‘Overall grass is growing well at present. We have 25 acres taken out for silage,’ explained Jamie. ‘We have 100 units of Nitrogen applied per acre. There is a pre-grazing cover of up to 1300 which is very positive. The soil fertility on the home block is also very good.’

‘The heifers will be brought home for breeding. The stocking rate on the milking platform is now at 3.44. We have an average EBI of 175, a fertility sub index of 332,171 and a milk sub index of 115,’ explained Jamie.Cash flow

Jamie completed a cash flow budget in January. ‘We used a base price of 24c/l. Pay out should be 28c/l with good fat and protein. The milk receipts are the same as last year even though we are milking 20 extra cows,’ explained Jamie. By 2021, Jamie and Loraine plan to increase milk solids per cow to 529. In 2015 this figure was at 484.

Jamie admits that there is not a lot of room for anything to go wrong. However they have very low borrowings on the farm which is a big help.

Infrastructure planning

According to Richard O’ Brien, most farms have too many paddocks. “In my opinion most farms have too many paddocks. 14 paddocks is enough on any farm.’

Jamie Kealy requires five acre paddocks for the 93 cows. This allows for three grazings of 1,400kg pre-grazing yield. This also prevents under-feeding of cows and it is easier to manage.

Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, offers some advice to farmers. “Centralise your water troughs. Multiple access points will allow 10% of your herd to drink at any one time; roughly 18 inches per cow should be sufficient.”

First Published 18th April 2016

Tagged with: Agribusiness All Dairy GII


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