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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Pat Dillon

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

Pat Dillon is farming 58 ha total. The milking platform consist of 38 ha. On average, he milked 120 cows this year. He is currently milking 60 cows.

Current Farm Performance

Milk Yield (kg/cow/day)13
Fat (%)4.47
Protein (%)3.91
Milk solids (kgMS/cow/day)1.11
Meal (kg/cow/day)3
Closing Average Farm Cover (kg dm/ha)650

All the cows will be dried off by the first week in December. Next Febuary will be very busy on the farm with 105 cows due to calve out of total of 130. The closing cover of 650kgdm/ha is on target and Pat hopes to have an average farm cover of 1000kgdm/ha by 1 Febuary.

Grass wedge 29/11/2016

Grass growth 2016

The farm has grown nearly 13 tonne dm/ha this year, the same quantity as last year. The range is from 11 to 15 tonne/ha. The reseeded paddocks with good soil fertility are performing best. The overall soil fertility on the home block is good. The poor performing paddocks will be identified for reseeding this year.

New infrastructure

This year, Pat upgraded and extended some of the infrastructure on the farm;

  • 54 extra cubicles in existing silage pit and this area was roofed
  • Scrappers
  • Extended feed area
  • New silage slab
  • Upgraded roadways

The net cost of the above is €60,000. This money will be borrowed over 10 years.

The feed space per cow will be 0.6m/cow. This will be a big advantage for the farm as stocking rate increases further and more silage is fed on the shoulders of the year.

There is now 175 cubicle spaces on the farm (30 cubicles are on an outside block). Pat hopes to milk 140 cows within the next 2 years and all heifers will be contract reared.

18 ha was also reseeded this year. This area was mainly silage ground. This land was very low in soil fertility.

2016 Performance

Milk solids per cow( kg)457
Milk solids per ha (dairy) kg 1141
Milking platform stocking rate(lu/ha) 3.26
Overall stocking rate (lu/ha) 2.5
Meal fed per cow (kg) 750
Grass growth kgdm/ha 13
Cash breakeven point c/l 27.5
Average milk price c/l 28.5

First Published 2 December 2016

Tagged with: Dairy GII Agribusiness All

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