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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Pat Dillon

This week Richard O’Brien (photo), co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Pat Dillon’s farm in Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny.

Pat Dillon milks 125 cows on his 38 ha milking platform in Cuffesgrange. He farms 62 ha in total, of which 18ha are rented. In 2014 Pat milked 100 cows and reared 40 replacement units. The EBI of his herd was €156. He produced 382kg MS/cow.
Since the abolition of quotas, Pat has continued to steadily increase cow numbers and hopes to expand this number to 130 cows.


‘Breeding is going very well at the moment,’ explained Pat. ‘91% of the cows were submitted in three weeks. The heifers are with the contract rearer. 97% of which were also submitted in three weeks.’

Current Farm Situation

Milk Yield (kg/cow/day) 26.3
Fat (%0 4.1
Protein (%) 3.56
Milk Solids (kgMS/cow/day) 2.01
Meal (kg/cow/day 2
Average Farm Cover (kg/ha) 635
Cover per Cow (kg/cow) 173
Pre Grazing Yield (kg/dm/ha) 1300
Demand (kg/dm /ha/day) 62
Growth (kg/dm /ha/day) 88



‘We plan to start cutting silage next week. At the end of April, we sowed 20 acres of grass seed. Two weeks ago, we took out 33% of the grazing platform as quality surplus bales. The grass has been under control since, but we will spray next week for weeds. I will need to take out more next week at current growth levels.’
‘Thankfully, we have had no cases of grass tetany to report. We will reduce meal to 1kg per cow.’

Grass Wedge 26th of May 2016


Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, advises farmers to put surplus grass to good use and to carefully monitor milk yield; ‘Grass is still growing very well. Take out surplus grass and make as bales rather than topping.’
‘Also, limit milk yield drop to 2.5% per week. Cow yield decreases naturally from her May peak by 10% per month.’

First Published 27th May 2016

Tagged with: Agribusiness All GII Dairy


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