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24
APRIL 2018
Dairy Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
DeLaval VMS
TM
Much more than
a milking robot
State-of-the-art heat
and health detection
system
+
Milk quality
control and
divert system
+
Integrated
dairy farm
management
software
+
Automated
feed
dispensing
+
Full service
and support
program
+
Unique solutions
designed for ABC
grazing systems
+
Optimised
energy use
+
Integrated
automatic
cooling
solutions
+
High capacity
milking stations
+
Find your local dealer: www.delaval.ie
Full Page April VMS.indd 1
21/03/2018 10:36:52
DeLaval VMS
TM
Much more than
a milking robot
State-of-the-art heat
and health detection
system
+
Milk quality
control and
divert system
+
Integrated
dairy farm
management
software
+
Automated
feed
dispensing
+
Full service
and support
program
+
Unique solutions
designed for ABC
grazing systems
+
Optimised
energy use
+
Integrated
automatic
cooling
solutions
+
High capacity
milking stations
+
Find your local dealer: www.delaval.ie
Full Page April VMS.indd 1
21/03/2018 10:36:52
New DeLaval 200x283.indd 1
21/03/2018 15:35
GRAZING INFRASTRUCTURE
Later this month, the Irish Grassland Association (IGA) is
hosting an event that will focus on grazing infrastructure
to improve grass utilisation. It will be held on Wednesday,
April 25, on the farm of Billy Gilmore, Tuam, Co Galway. The
objective is to demonstrate options and costings for improving
grazing infrastructure on grass farms and will focus on water,
fencing, paddock layouts and roadways, with the ultimate goal
of achieving higher grass dry matter (DM) production and
improved utilisation of grass.
CONTRACT REARING DAIRY HEIFERS
Billy Gilmore is a former participant in the BETTER Beef Farm
programme. Billy and his son, Martin, farm in partnership in
Cortoon, just 10km outside Tuam in Co Galway. Billy farms over
55 hectares, which is fragmented into 10 parcels. It comprises
owned and rented lands, which are relatively dry, however
approximately 20 hectares (ha) could be described as heavy and
liable to some fl ooding in winter/spring.
In the past two years, the farm has changed from suckler cows
and selling weanlings to contract rearing heifers for a local dairy
farmer and the Newford herd in Athenry. In 2018, there will be
116 yearlings reared, with another 26-30 coming in May. Billy
also has a sheep enterprise, lambing 160 ewes this spring. The
farm stocking rate has increased considerably since 2009, from
1.2 live units (LU)/ha to approximately 2 LU/ha at present. Since
2009, gross output has increased from 789/ha to 1425/ha, with
a corresponding increase in gross margin from 538/ha to 1395/
ha. Billy has focused on a low-cost, grass-based system in order
to keep variable costs low.
CHANGES DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY GRASS
Some of the changes Billy has implemented on his farm to
achieve this improved performance include weekly farm
walks, optimum pre-grazing yields and grazing to a residual
of 3.5cm, resulting in more high-quality grass in the diet and
better utilisation of this grass. Ultimately, he has achieved this
by splitting large fi elds into paddocks with better placement
of water troughs, allowing for easier grazing management and
better control of grass on the farm. The paddock system allows
SETTING A
FARM UP
FOR GRASS
Mary McEvoy works with Germinal
and is a council member of the
Irish Grassland Association. Mary,
along with
Gabriel Trayers of
Teagasc, Galway, describe an
upcoming farm walk near Tuam
that focuses on maximising the
potential to grow and utilise grass
Tom Hennessey, event sponsor, Terra
Services; Billy Gilmore, host farmer; and
Stan Lalor, IGA council member.