WATCH: Valerie Brady


Valerie Brady runs an 80-cow dairy herd - split between winter and spring calving - across a 60-acre milking platform in Mullahoran, Co. Cavan.

Cows averaged 7,500-litres in 2017, with a concentrate input of 1.5-tonnes/cow as part of a diet designed by Kiernan Milling - a company that Valerie has been working alongside for the past number of years.

Conor McCaffrey B.Agri.Sc - Technical Sales explained the process involved: "Before formulating any diets, I call out on-farm. Valerie and I go through the cows and assess body condition score and I also take a silage sample for analysis in our own in-house lab."

Valerie went in search of a formulated diet that would suitable for the entire herd at various stages of lactation including freshly calved cows to support thirty-litres of milk per day.

The Cavan farmer's 29% dry matter silage (the amount of silage material after water has been removed) has a DMD value of 78%.

"I knew from the offset that this silage could support in or around 10/11-litres plus maintenance before concentrates were ever introduced."

"In order to sustain this level of production, I knew that I needed to get 21-and-a-half UFLs into the cow on a daily basis to avoid stripping excess conditions off their backs."

Two weeks into the diet, the cows are producing about 28-29-litres, 4.8% fat and 3.54% protein; Valerie is impressed with results:"The cows are milking very well and are showing heats at present." Valerie concluded.

More information

If you wish to find out more information about the services offered by Kiernan Milling, please see their website.

Video: Produced and edited by TF Media.

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