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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Michael Doran

This week Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Michael Doran’s farm in Wellington Bridge, Co. Wexford.

Michael milks 199 crossbred dairy cows on his 51 hectare milking platform Wellington Bridge, Co. Wexford.


‘Breeding is going very well. 87% of the cows were submitted in three weeks. 100% of the heifers were submitted in 16 days. We now have three bulls out with the heifers. We will continue to AI the cows for another 10 days. So far, only 22% of the cows have repeated after five weeks of AI. We are pretty pleased with this.’


‘The heifers are now off the milking platform and on an outside block. With cows only, the stocking rate is still very high at 4.6 cows per ha. We will feed 2kg of soya hulls this week.’

Current Farm Situation

Milk Yield (l/cow/day) 19.51
Fat (%) 4.5
Protein (%) 3.76
Milk solids (kgMS/cow/day) 1.66
Meal (kg/cow/day) 2
Average Farm Cover (kg/ha) 543
Cover per cow (kg/cow) 118
Pre grazing yield (kg dm/ha) 1500
Demand (kg dm /ha/day) 74
Growth (kg dm /ha/day) 103

Michael believes that grass availability will be the key driver in any decision made on the farm. ‘We plan to apply 1 bag of CAN per acre every 10 days,’ said Michael.

Grass Wedge 31st of May 2016

‘After compiling a cash flow budget for the year, I am re-arranging credit terms and interest only loans arranged for this year. I plan to monitor my budget and actual spend during the year to ensure a steady flow of capital to the business,’ explained Michael.

New Project

‘We have extra land that will be available to the cows,’ said Michael. ‘Some of this land has been reseeded and more work needs to be done to the rest before it is fit for purpose,’ explained Michael.

‘I have done a lot of work on the new block of land. A lot of drainage and reseeding. This new block will bring my milking platform to 80 ha. All work on this land was done out of borrowed money. This will help my cashflow this year.’

Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, offers advice to farmers on their rotation length, to look after the farm finances and to stay safe this summer: ‘A lot of farms seem to be getting very dry and growth has slowed down slightly. Rain this week would be a huge help. Keep to a 20 day rotation. At very high growth rotation length had gone to 16 days.’

‘Take stock of your current financial situation. Have a look at current account and bills outstanding. Talk to your adviser or accountant if you need help.’

‘Most importantly, enjoy the good weather and keep the farm a safe place at this busy time with machinery.’

First Published 7th June

Tagged with: Agribusiness All Dairy GII


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