After completing a level-8 degree in agricultural science, fifth-generation farmer, Mike Dunne, returned home in 2018 to take up a role in a farm partnership.
Currently, they are milking 370 spring-calving, mainly Norwegian Reds, on a 145ha farm through a 60-unit Delaval rotary parlour; the herd is producing 500kgs of milk solids/cow.
They have plans in place to expand the herd to 500 cows in the future with a mixture of Norwegian Reds crossed with Friesian.
The Dunnes are concentrating on improving all areas to increase efficiency as well as continued focus on breeding and grassland management; annual grass growth on the farm is 15.5tn DM/Ha.
They operate an alternative winter accommodation system whereby they use all straw bedding during the dry period and make strategic use of this FYM to improve soil fertility.
In terms of improving farm sustainability, the Dunnes are aiming to include more clover into the pasture as well as using low emission slurry spreading methods.
Once-a-day (OAD) milking is also an option they are considering as a large part of the grazing platform is a long distance from the parlour.
Avondhu Macra are hosting the 2019 Macra ‘Rally’; a farm walk will be held on the Dunne’s dairy farm on Saturday, October 26th - This tour requires booking through the following link and will cost €25 which includes lunch.