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Glanbia Monitor Farm Update – Peter Mongey

This week Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, visited Peter’s farm in Stackallen, Navan, Co. Meath.

Peter Mongey milks 103 Holstein Friesian cows on his 42 hectare farm in Stackallen, Navan, Co. Meath. 34 of these cows are autumn calving.

Breeding

‘We started breeding the cows on 22 April and the heifers three days later. 55% of cows were submitted in two weeks. The aim is to have 83% submitted within three weeks,’ Peter explained. ‘We had 41% of the heifers AI’d in the first week. These were all synchronized after one week of AI. We used tail paint to gauge heat detection among the cows and heifers.’

Peter admits that he is pleased with the progress so far. ‘The weather has played a huge part in this. If it was cold and wet, these figures definitely wouldn’t be as high.’

Current farm Situation

Milk litres/Day 28
Fat % 4.0
Protein % 3.5
Milk Solids/Day Kg 2.2
Meal Kg/cow/day 2kgs
Average Farm Cover 655
Cover per Cow 191
Pre Grazing Yield KG DM 1350
Demand KG DM HA 55
Growth KG DM HA 52

 

Grazing

‘We are quite happy with our grass quality at present. The cows are milking well, supplemented with 2kg of ration. We hope to have the second round of grazing completed on 7 May.’

‘We plan on getting the first cut of silage by 20 May. This ground has been closed since last autumn.’ Due to the extended period of no growth and harsher than expected weather, Peter admits that the feed situation will need to be examined. ‘We will need to review our silage stocks. We have used more silage than anticipated.’

‘We’ve pulled a few paddocks and increased the stocking rate to 4 livestock units per acre in anticipation of a surge in grass growth.’

Fertiliser

‘To date, we have 115 units of nitrogen applied per acre. We spread sulphur with CAN in the last round. We will blanket spread the farm with the 4th round of nitrogen in late May.’

Heifers

‘The heifers are with a contract rearer. At the start of the breeding season, the average weight of the heifers was 393kg. From the bunch of 22 heifers, nine are autumn heifers which were carried over to reduce the amount of autumn calving. We have reduced numbers to match with our winter milk contract.’

Richard O’Brien, co-ordinator of the Glanbia monitor farm programme, advises farmers to keep any eye on pre-grazing covers. ‘The forecast looks good for the week. Keep pre-grazing covers below 1,400kgdm/ha or keep your rotation at 20 days. If your rotation gets longer than this, you need to take action. Breeding has started on all farms at this stage. Check to see if you are breeding 30% of available cows each week.’

First Published 9th May 2016

Tagged with: Agribusiness All Dairy GII

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