Growth rates affecting solids and milk yields, grass shortages, pregnancy tests, silage, maize, reseeding, bales and more. Get it all below on this week's dairy update.
Age: 23 years old
Operation: Farm partnership with father in Tullovin, Croom, County Limerick.
Farm: 150 cows, 42 heifers and 40 yearling heifers.
Production: Butterfat: 3.94, Protein: 3.35, SCC: 300, Lactose: 4.76, Cows are doing approx. 22 litres/day at the moment.
This week -
A farmer in Croom has 13 acres of strong paddocks, so we are going to mow it and bale it for him. These will be €10 a bale also and It will be mowed today.
Grass in some paddocks is still a bit strong for the cows. Topping is being carried out on these paddocks and the heifers are grazing out the paddocks then. Rain is badly needed here on the home farm as we only have about a weeks’ worth of grass ahead of the cows. Some farmers in the area are already feeding out baled silage to supplement their cows.
Grass growth has been good on the out farm since the silage was cut. This farm is a lot lower than the home farm though and would be wetter, so its still growing. All bulls are still out with both cows and heifers, with cows still on 4kg of nuts in the parlour. We have 5 calves sold this week and they averaged €200-250 a piece.
All of the out farm in Meanus has been spread with slurry. This was finished yesterday evening with the help of Shires Agri in Croom. There were 60 acres in total to be spread. We had two 2500g HiSpec tanks drawing. Soil samples were taken of the out farm before the slurry went out. These were sent to Southern Scientific Labs and the cost is €13.50 per sample.
Agenda for the coming week -
The out farm in Meanus is to be spread with fertiliser this week and we are awaiting the soil sample test results from Southern Scientific.
13 acres of paddocks in Croom must be baled over the coming week, while yearling heifers are due for weighing again. Tidying of the farmyard will be done as we have Greybridge Classic Club’s tractor run passing through here on June 30th.
We are also planning to go to the mart with calves in the coming week.
Name: Patrick Mc Carthy
Farm: Milking 40 crossbred Jersey herd
Performace: Butterfat 4.27 , Protein 3.46 cows doing 17.9 Litres. Kgs/Ms/Cow = 1.43 SCC = 126 , Meal = 2.5kgs 16% Dairy.
This Week -
We got more of our silage cut this week and got another 47 bales. All the silage fields got slurry and two out of four of the statted tanks have been emptied. We do not want to be caught again if the weather turns bad in September, so we are going to try and empty the four tanks over the next few weeks and also going to try and get as much of it onto grazing ground as possible.
I am catching up on topping some of the paddocks so that good quality grass will grow back for the next rotation. In the last 3 milk collections, the solids and yield have taken a hit. This is due to grass quality and It is something I need to improve on in the future , I would consider myself a good enough grassland manager when grass is tight or growth rates are average but when there is a surplus or boost of growth I should be moving faster or take out more paddocks and speed up the rotation. Although talking with other farmers I'm hearing I wasn't the only one caught out But I still need to improve on that going forward.
Coming up this week -
I am following the cows with Sulphur CAN and spreading on grazed paddocks at 35 units/acre so must get that out on a few paddocks. I must also do another grass budget this week. Some paddocks had a heavy cover and I didn't push cows to graze down the paddock as it would affect cow performance, so I will need to top more paddocks and bring back good quality grass for the next rotation.
Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Dairy farm, milking 140 Holstein Friesian’s in farm partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Performance: Milk performance 25 litres, 4.30bf, 3.14 pr, Scc 93
Diet: 6kgs 18%ration, 10kgs of sugar beet
This Week -
Grass growth came to a near stop the past week, as we had no rain as a result covers went very low and we had to up the ration to 4 kgs.
We have seen some rain the last 3 days and can see growth kicking off again. I blanket spread the cow ground with a bag of CAN and following with 1500 gals of watery slurry with the trailing shoe. Cows are grazing down excellent, but protein has taken a massive hit as we had to feed heavier grass that was meant to be baled in the next two weeks.
POA for the coming week -
In the coming week, we will start ploughing the ground to be reseeded tomorrow with the aim of sowing it next week. We are yet to choose what grass seed we will use.
The beet will get a bag of ASN and its last spraying this week. The rain we had has helped a lot to keep the growth ticking over. Some second cut silage will be ready in the next two weeks. The breeding season has quietened down a lot with very little bulling activity. We will do the pregnancy test through the milk recording to see where we're at in terms of in calf rate.
Milk Price updates -
Dairygold have announced that they will pay its Milk Suppliers 32.0cpl inclusive of 0.5cpl quality bonus and VAT, based on standard constituents of 3.3% Protein and 3.6% Butterfat (for May deliveries), which is an increase of 1.0cpl on April base milk price.
The board of LacPatrick Dairies met on 19 June and set a price for May milk. Suppliers in Northern Ireland will receive a base price of 26p/litre for milk supplied in May. Suppliers in the Republic of Ireland will receive a base price of 30.25c/l for milk supplied in May