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Teagasc/Glanbia Future Farm Programme

The Open Source Future Farm Programme is the third evolution of the Teagasc / Glanbia Ireland knowledge transfer programme. It will harness advancements in technology and farm practices to support farmers to make the necessary changes for a profitable and sustainable future.

A key objective of this programme is to help farmers implement changes to ensure that their environmental footprint is in line with the aims of the national Climate Action Plan.

There are 11 demonstration farms ranging in size from 120 to 320 cows. The programme is part of the EU-funded Smart Agri Hubs dairy project, with meters installed to monitor and improve water and energy usage. This tool will aid all farmers across the Glanbia Ireland supply base in using water and energy resources more efficiently.

A key priority in the programme will be to introduce digital technologies and practices particularly in the area of labour efficiency. It will provide strong insights for other farmers on streamlining their farming operation to deliver lean management practices, whilst also supporting the health and well-being of the farmer.

Strong emphasis will be placed on soil nutrient management, utilising high yields of quality grass, effective Nitrogen usage and the Economic Breeding Index (EBI) of the herds to help boost productivity. 

There will be regular opportunities to see first-hand the advancements through farm walks held on the 11 farms, which vary in size and soil types across the Glanbia Ireland catchment area. They are located in Laois, Waterford, Kildare, Cork, Kilkenny, Meath, Wexford, Wicklow and Tipperary.

Stay tuned to this page where you'll be able to see weekly farm updates on each farm and monitor the farmers progress throughout the programme. 

Open Source Future Farm participants 

NamesDescription

 

Thomas and David Fennelly, Portalington, Co. Laois 

Tom is farming with his son David near Portarlington Co. Laois. They are farming 106 Ha. 10 Ha of this is rented. Most of the land is in one block. A road divides 10 Ha. The potassium is low on the farm.   In 2019 they are milking 180 cows and they have 54 in calf heifers and 100 weanlings. The plan is to milk 220 cows and rear 60 replacement units and have no beef enterprise. There are good facilities on the farm and a lot of development has taken place over the last few years. In 2018 the cows supplied 550 kgMS per head.

The calving interval is 375 days with a six week calving rate of 84%. The EBI of the cows is €159 and the heifer calves are €198. 

Check out the Fennelly farm updates here 

 

Shane and John P. Fitzgerald, Portlaw East, Co. Waterford

Shane is farming with his father near Portlaw Co. Waterford. They are farming 92 Ha of which 30 Ha is leased. All the land is available to cows. The heifers are contract reared. They are currently milking 200 cows with an EBI of €138. The plan is to milk 210 cows and increase the solids produced per cow by 40 kg trough better genetics, fertility and grass.

 The EBI of the younger stock is €185. All infrastructures on the farm have been upgraded. The calving interval for the herd is 371 days with a six week calving rate of 88%.

They make their own silage and spread their own fertilizer and slurry

Check out the Fitzgerald farm updates here 

 

Steven Fitzgerald, Aglish, West Wateford 

Steven is farming with his parents near Aglish in West Waterford. Steven is married with a young family.  They are farming 121 Ha of which 52 Ha is leased. The milking platform is 70 Ha. They are milking 123 cows in 2019 and 40 replacement units. All beef calves are brought to stores for sale. The plan is to milk 180 cows and decrease the beef enterprise over time. Parlour and accommodation has been upgraded in the last 10 years. The highest point of the farm is 600 feet above sea level. Soil fertility is low on the leased land and ok on the owned land.

The EBI of the herd is €145 and the young stock have an EBI of €200. The calving interval is 367 days and a 93% six week calving rate. In 2018 the cows supplied 524KgMS/Hd.

Check out the Fitzgerald farm updates here 

 

Donal Kavanagh, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow 

Donal is farming near Baltinglass Co. Wicklow. He is farming 154Ha of which 45Ha are owned. He has a milking platform of
68Ha. He milked 258 cows in 2019. He had a winter milk contract and he calves around 70 cows in the Autumn. The plan is to milk 220 cows and keep 60 replacement units. The plan is to drop some rented ground.

The EBI of the herd is €127 and €180 for the followers. The calving interval is 374 days and a six week calving rate of 86%

There are two full time labour units on the farm. In 2018 he supplied 494KgMS/cow.

Check out the Kavanagh farm updates here 

 

Jack and Larry Kearney, Rathcormack, Co. Cork

Jack is farming in Rathcormac in East Cork in partnership with his parents Larry and Annette. They are farming 78 Ha of which 44 Ha are owned. The farm is 400 feet above sea level. The milking platform is 47 Ha.  In 2019 they milked 140 cows and had 40 replacement units. The overall stocking rate is 2.3lu/Ha. Milking platform stocking rate is 3.2 Lu/Ha. The plan is to milk 150 cows and rear 35 heifers. The EBI of the herd is €156 and the heifers are €200. The calving interval is 376 days with a 91% six week calving rate. The cows will produce 500 kg MS/cow in 2019. The farm should grow 15 tons/Ha in 2019.

They have a 16 unit milking parlour and 236 cubicles.

Check out the Kearney farm updates here 

 

Cathal Moran, Skeoughvosteen, Co. Kilkenny

Cathal is farming 177ha of which 57 is owned. The milking platform consists of 120 Ha. In 2019 he milked 328 cows with 100 replacement units and the plan is to increase to 390 cows and rear 100 replacement units. In 2018 the herd supplied 450 kgMS/Hd.  The EBI of the herd is €140 and the younger stock is €200. The calving interval is 367 days and the six week calving rate is 93%. Cathal plans to build an underpass and silage pits in the next few years. He installed solar panels recently.  Cathal has 1.5 labour units employed on the farm.

Check out the Moran farm updates here 

 

Matthew and Declan Mullen, Kells, Co. Meath

Matthew is farming in partnership (2017) with his father Declan mother Gladys and Uncle Gerry near Kells Co Meath.  They are farming 152 Ha of which 11 ha is rented; the milking platform consists of 70 Ha. They are milking 350 cows in 2019. In 2014 they milked 140 cows. They have a winter milk contract and calf approx. 120 cows to fill this. The plan is to milk 320 cows and have a compact spring and autumn calving. Most of the farm needs to be reseeded and the soil fertility of the outside blocks is low. Matthew started measuring grass this year (2019).  They grow 16Ha of maize for the winter milk herd.  The EBI of the herd is €78 and the younger stock is € 152. The calving interval is 401 days.

There is a beef enterprise on the farm and they will exit this over the next 12 months.

Check out the Mullen farm updates here 

 

Kevin Murphy, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Kevin Murphy is farming outside Gorey Co. Wexford with his wife Ann and farm manager Brian.  They are farming 137 Ha of which 55Ha are owned. In 2019 they milked 262 cows and reared 80 replacement units. The plan is to milk 290 cows with 70 replacement units. In 2018 they supplied 505 KgMS/cow. The overall stocking rate is 2.5 LU/Ha.

The EBI of this cross bred herd is €157 and the EBI of the replacements is €200. The calving interval is 370 days and a six week calving rate of 86%. This year they completed their new rotary parlour and are currently building more cubicles.

Check out the Murphy farm updates here 

 

Francis Nolan, Muckalee, Co. Kilkenny

Francis is farming near Coolcullen in North Co Kilkenny. Francis is a new entrant to dairying. He is farming 70 Ha of which 4Ha is rented. All the land is available for cows. The land type is heavy and is 900 feet above sea level.  In 2019 he milked 130 cows and he had 50 replacement units. The overall stocking rate on the farm is 2.6 Lu/Ha.  The farm grew 12 ton of grass DM/Ha in 2019. Silage and straw were bought to make up the deficit. The EBI of the herd is €125 and the younger stock have an EBI of €180. The calving interval is 371 days with 80% calving in 6 weeks. The plan for the farm is to milk about 130 cows and keep 40 replacement units. This will be dictated by how much the farm can grow in the next couple of years. Soil fertility improvement, drainage and reseeding are required. There is a part time labour unit on the farm and the plan is to keep the system simple and easy to manage.

Check out the Nolan farm updates here 

 

John Ryan, Gortnahoe, Co. Tipperary

John is farming with his father Tom near Gortnahoe in Co. Tipperary. They are farming 70 Ha. They were new entrants to milk in 2011. The milking platform is 34 Ha. In 2019 they milked 138 cows and reared 30 replacement units. The overall stocking rate is 2.3 LU/Ha. The milking platform stocking rate is 4 cows/Ha. A zero grazer is used for the first and last rotation to supplement cows. In 2018 the cows supplied 510 KgMS/cow. The plan is to hold cow numbers and increase milk solids per cow to 550 Kg trough better genetics, maturity of the herd and grass.

The EBI of the herd is €133 and the heifers is €186. The calving interval is 367 days.

The infrastructure on the farm is good, a parlour and cubicle shed were built in the last number of years.

Check out the Ryan farm updates here 

Shay Ryan

New Ross, Co. Wexford

Shay Ryan, New Ross, Co. Wexford

Shay is farming outside New Ross in Co. Wexford. Shay farms 70 Ha.  The milking platform is 47 Ha. There is also a beef enterprise on the farm. The plan is to exit beef and increase cow numbers to 160 and to rear 40 replacement units. In 2018 the cows supplied 492Kg/Hd. The EBI of the herd is €139 and the young stock have an EBI of €186. The calving interval is 382 days and the six week calving rate is 81%. In 2018 he supplied 492kgMS/cow and the plan is to raise this to 550Kg.


Check out the Ryan farm updates here