Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Milking 140 Holstein Friesians in partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Milk performance: 35-litres at 4.40% Butterfat & 3.34% Protein – SCC: 104.
Cows were turned out to grass at the beginning of last week and they are out day and night. Yields fell ever so slightly because of this, but milk solids are increasing.
We are still giving a buffer feed before the evening milking to keep the cows milking well and will continue this for the next month.
Cow condition has never been better and they are showing heat.
The weather has turned into every farmer’s dream; ground is drying out well now every day.
Grass covers; however, are extremely high with an average farm cover of 2000. As a result, we have taken out 10-acres for silage – yes, silage in March – I mowed the grass yesterday and it will be tedded, raked and baled on Friday.
The weanling heifers will be turned out this week – a month earlier compared to last year.
Silage ground was topped up with fertiliser; it received 40-units of Urea four-weeks ago.We hope to have an early cut at the beginning of May as it wasn’t grazed and is very heavy as is.
We were finding it quite hard to get cows to graze the heavy covers down perfect without impacting yield; we may start pre-mowing yet.
18 young Friesian bullocks were sold from the farm today for €1.55/kg – a fair price considering cattle prices at the moment.
Thirty of the calves are now weaned off milk; we weighed them and they are double their birth-weight. They are weaned at seventy days of age and find the automatic calf feeder a stress free-way for calves to be weaned.
This week, we hope to let more stock out and spread slurry on paddocks after grazing.
This year’s beet ground was sprayed last Sunday and we hope to start spreading slurry on it next week and plough it while the weather is on our side.
Name: Christy McCarthy
Farm: 55 cows (35 Pedigree Holsteins and 25 Pedigree Jerseys) on 60-acres.
Location: Shanaway East, Balineen Co. Cork.
Performance:Fat: 4.31%, Protein: 3.56%, Lactose: 4.89%, SCC: 112 and AVG SCC: 148.
It’s all go now with the good weather with cows, slurry and fertiliser all going out this week.
Cows are going out by day grazing away the covers with good clear out in the fields. They are housed for the night where they are being fed a mixed diet.
One of last year’s highest-yielding cows had twin bulls by EDG Deman-ET.
We had a clear TB test last week – what a relief! It is the most stressful time of year by far, but all good now.We scanned thirty summer and early autumn calvers (including a number of heifers) – twenty-six of which are in-calve.
With the weather set to remain good for the remainder of the week, we hope to spread the rest of the slurry on silage ground as grazed paddocks have been covered already.