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Cathal Irwin May/June 2023



  • First cut silage made on May 15th
  • Walking the farm more regularly
  • Protected urea applied to grazing areas


  • The bull removed on May 18th
  • 4 cows culled
  • AI used on maiden heifers and some cows


For the months of May and June , Cathal walked and measured 12 times in 8 weeks. The extra measures helped keep the grass wedge on track. While the beginning of May started off wet , the dry period at the beginning on June affected growth even on this heavy typre farm.

Cathal maintained 13-18 days ahead and average farm covers never peaked over 930kgs/DM/ha in May. As a result covers were grazed at a leafy stage . The slight concern at the end of June is that demand is ahead of growth and days ahead have reduced to 13. Ideally, days ahead should be increasing towards 16.

There is 4.89 ha still to be cut for second cut silage and that ground will come back into the grazing platform in July.

The first cut silage was cut on May 15th – 90 bales were made and this should be high quality  as the silage area was reseeded last year and it was cut in mid-May. These bales have been stored separately and will be prioritised for the weanlings and cows post calving in Jan/Feb of next year.

The silage ground (4.89 ha ) got slurry on the 23rd of May  and protected urea was applied a week later for the second cut. Fortunately , all was applied and got rain before the dry spell kicked in. 

Picture 1: Closed for 2nd cut silage

The grass wedge above is for June 27th- Growth was exceptional , well above the average for the rest of the month. Days ahead was 13 and this will need to increase in July.

On June 22nd , 4.72ha of grazing ground got 22 units of Protected urea /acre and this will boost growth for the next few weeks.

Picture 2: Grass cover June 8th

Picture 3: Incorporation of clover, 8 acres completed this year


This year, Cathal used  maternal AI straw on 4 of his best cows that have plenty of milk and that calve consistently every 365 days . Ai bulls such as the Saler bull Ulsan and the LM bull 2014 were used.

Table 1 : Ulsan 

Ulsan has very high maternal figure of €203 with 95% reliability figures. He is also suitable for both heifers and cows as he is easy calved.

Edendale Ivor LM2014 was also used – Again he has very high maternal figures and any heifers would be excellent replacements. 

Table 2: LM2014

Cathal pulled the stock bull of May 18th to keep the herd calving compactly in 2024. Scanning will take place in July. Also 4 cows have been identified for culling. 4   is a significant number in a herd size of 18. Cathal wants to remove cows with poor fertility and/or doesn’t produce a quality calf and replace them with high value 4 and 5 star replacement heifers.

Once their calves are reared and weaned –Cathal will then decide to sell the culls live or house for indoor finishing.