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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 88 hectare farm in Clonmel Co. Tipperary..

Paddy O'Gorman returned to the family farm just outside Clonmel, Co Tipperary in 2009 after a stint abroad in Australia. Six years later and his expansion plan is in full flow.

It is here where Paddy milks 154 Holstein Friesian cows on his 60 hectare milking platform. “The aim is to increase this number to 190 by 2017. I wanted to set up a system that is simple to manage, a very sustainable system that should tick over from year to year and there should be no hiccups," explained Paddy.

Grass Growth

“Grass is growing well at present. The cows are milking well on pre-grazing yields of 1,400kgdm/ha. 25% of the milking platform area was taken out for silage last week. I expect these bales to be around 80 DMD,” explained Paddy. “We plan to follow the cows with 1 bag of ASN per acre during this round.” So far, Paddy has applied 115 units of nitrogen per acre this year.

Breeding

“85% of the cows were submitted in three weeks. We had hoped that this figure would be closer to 90%. All heifers were submitted in two weeks. They were synchronized after 9 days. We will use 250 Friesian AI straws and then let the bulls out. This usage will give me my required 50 heifers on the ground,” explained Paddy.

We weaned 40 calves at 95kg on average. We still have 23 calves on once per day milk.”

Current Situation

Milk Yield (kg/cow/day) 25.3
Protein % 3.71
Fat % 3.95
Milk solids (kgMS/cow/day) 1.94
Meal(kg/cow/day) 2.0
Average Farm Cover (kg/ha) 535
Cover per cow (kg/cow) 140
Demand (kg/ha/day) 65
Growth (kg/ha/day) 110
Pre grazing yield (ha) 1500

 

Workload

"With continued expansion, the workload is steadily increasing. You do get caught in an area there, up to 100 or 120 cows you are fine with one man. Then when you get from 120 to 180, it is hard to pay a full-time man. So you have to take a leap," he said.

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, advises farmers to keep any eye on grazing covers. “Grass growth has finally taken off. Do not top and waste grass. Take out as surplus bales instead. If you are not grazing 30 % of the area available to cows each week, then you need to take out surplus.”

First Published 17th May 2016

 

Tagged with: Agribusiness All Dairy GII

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