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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Martin Davin

This week Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Martin Davin’s farm in Eirrill, Rathdowney, Co. Laois.

Martin Davin currently has 14% of the farm grazed. The target had been 30%, but adverse weather conditions have resulted in very difficult grazing conditions. As a result, the cows are back in this week. The heifers were out, but are now also back in.

As it has proved to be a very busy time on the farm, full time labour has been brought in.

On 26 February, 40 units of urea/ acre was spread by a contractor. Slurry was applied to the out farms to relieve storage.

Teagasc adviser Richard O’ Brien advises farmers to get fertilier out as soon as the weather permits. ‘A lot of fertiliser went out last week. If you haven’t, try and get out 40 units of urea / acre as soon as the weather improves. If on/off grazing, make sure your cows are hungry going out. Very little silage the night before will ensure this,’ said Richard.

Richard also offers some helpful advice in order to achieve good performance: ‘Get light maiden heifers out to grass and milk thin heifers once per day until breeding.’

Since 1 February, 113 of Martin’s cows have calved. ‘The calving has went very well this year,’ said Martin. All the heifers were synchronised last spring, leading to 95% of the heifers calving in three weeks. ‘This year’s heifers are well on target at 328kg on 8 January,’ Martin explained. The average EBI of the maiden heifers is 222.

Martin believes that the heifers are the backbone of the business and that achieving the target weights is critical. ‘The first 12 weeks are critical in ensuring that you have healthy calves. All calves receive colostrum within 1 hour of birth and receive 6 litres of milk twice per day,’ Martin explained. ‘After 6 weeks, the calves will go on once a day feeding. The target is 70kg by the time the calf reaches 4 weeks old.’ Martin explained.

Current performance

Milk 23.3 litres
Fat 4.86%
Protein 3.27%
Milk Solids (kg) 1.95
Meal (kg) 4.54kg
AFC 1,114 kg dm/ha
Growth 2 kg dm/ha

First Published 3rd March 2016


Tagged with: Agribusiness All GII Dairy


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