Francis Nolan - Muckalee, North Kilkenny
Teagasc Glanbia Future Farm Focus
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- Francis, a new entrant to dairying, is farming 70 Ha near Coolcullen, Co. Kilkenny, of which 4Ha is rented.
- In 2019 he milked 130 cows and he had 50 replacement units. The plan for the farm is to milk about 130 cows and keep 40 replacement units.
- The calving interval is 371 days with 80% calving in 6 weeks.
This video gives an overview of the farm & farm system. Francis explains his plans to do more reseeding over the next few years as well as improving soil fertility. Francis joined the Programme to grow more grass, improve soil fertility, while becoming more efficient & sustainable in the future.
Autumn build up of grass on heavy land- Francis Nolan Teagasc Glanbia Future Farm Kilkenny summary.
Litres / Cow
yield Kg DM
|Comment||Growth dropping off now back to 29kgsdm/ha. Cows getting one bale of silage before pm milking. 5th and last milk recording booked for the last week of this month|
|Comment||Clipped cows tails. Growth back a lot this week. Moving the last of the water troughs.|
|Comment||We had our annual TB test during the week and passed which is always good news. Cows grazing heavy covers but getting good clean outs.|
|Comment||Good growth last week has brought farm cover up to 945 which is where we want to be so held off on feeding the buffer. 4th milk recording was carried out. Cows are going through a footbath of 2.5% solution of copper sulphate every 5 days.|
Farm cover not building, staying at 700 so will go in with a 7kg buffer to build cover. Will spread dirty water after the cows from now on. Grass seeds starting to peep up that were sown last week. Will spray earlier reseeds with post emergence this week.
|Comment||Grass seeds to be sown this week will give it a couple of runs of a disc and then power harrow. Spread 2tons of lime per acre on paddocks to be reseeded and also some paddocks that were low. Most of the farm got 25 units of nitrogen. Will spread the rest before the weekend.|
|Comment||Last round of Nitrogen going out this week. Sprayed off two paddocks for reseeding. Had a group meeting in Cork last Friday, great discussion on new regulations also good to meet on farm again.|
|Comment||Growth back on track and on target to build grass for the Autumn, Autumn budget complete. Target average farm cover of 1100 by Mid-September. Nitrogen spread in early Aug has worked well. Last round of nitrogen will be spread in September. Cows dosed for lungworm last week.|
|Comment||Calves got their second worm dose, they were injected with cydectin. Growth improving with the rain. Demand back to 42kgs/DM/ha with silage ground back in for grazing now. Will look at taking out more paddocks for reseeding this week.|
|Comment||18mm of rain last week but grass is slow to take off. Finishing off the last of the new roadway.|
|Comment||Brought in paddocks that were out for bales as growth down to 35kgsdm. Grass seed sowed hopefully get some rain on them now. Doing a milk recording this week.|
|Comment||Second cut done at the weekend in ideal conditions. Some surplus to paddocks to take out this week. Leaving cows access to shed during the day for shade out of the sun. Some lime going out on silage ground after been cut.|
|Comment||Cows were treated for flies and tails were clipped, also put through footbath. Into the final week of breeding looks like we have 62% that held to first service. Will scan in early Aug. Will cut second cut at the end of this week. Going to plough the ground that was drained this week.|
|Comment||Doing drainage work and finishing off some new roadways this week with ideal conditions. Good growth again this week the wetter part of the farm growing lots of grass at the moment. Yield has come back up again with the cows as they are grazing some after grass and paddocks that were topped up so quality is very good.|
|Comment||Spraying off 5 acres for re-seeding that also needs some drains pulled in it. Lighter calves will be separated out from the main group. Regrowth slowing down a lot now with all the dry weather.|
|Comment||Taking out more surplus paddocks this week. Calves all dosed with Albex. All stock IBR vaccinated.|
|Comment:||Last of the first cut was done at the weekend and some surplus paddocks were taken out and put in the pit as well. Will take out more surplus this week. Ground has dried out fairly well now and very good growth conditions.|
|Comment:||First cut silage done over the weekend. Ground statrting to dry out a bit now. Took silage out of diet at the weekend with growth now taking off. Will have to take out some surplus and top to clean up paddocks after all the wet weather.|
|Comment:||Ground conditions are gone very tricky, cows were housed for one night last week also holding them in when its raining heavy. Breeding is going very well with the cows, a few more repeats with the heifers.|
|Comment:||Went with a 5kg buffer with all the wet weather and grass tight. Changing roas ways around, new central roadway put in and closing up ones along water courses for new derogation rules. 90% of cows submitted for breeding, 3 weeks in a couple of cows that were cycling pre breeding didnt come.|
|Comment:||Hope for growth to take off this week. All farm getting 36 units N/ac this week. Low soil fertility paddocks getting 15-6-12. The rest getting protected this week.|
|Comment:||11 dys into breeding 60% of the cows served. Any heifers not bred in the first 7 days got a shot of prostaglandin and being served as seen.|
|Comment:||Started breeding on the 23rd. We are using collars for heat detection this year and also have automatic drafting which is making it less labour intensive. First lot of calves areout on grass|
|Comment:||Held off on silage buffer last week, went back and cut and weighed a few paddocks as I felt there was more grass in them and it turned out there was. Covers are heavier than they look. Any cows not cycling, cows that held cleanings and cows that had twins were scanned this week pre breeding. Growth still poor and with frost forecast again doesn't look like its going to take off this week. 4 Cows left to calf.|
|Comment:||Farm cover has dropped down to 564kgsdm/ha and growth has been non existing this week with hard frost every night. Will go in with a 5kg buffer to cows to hold farm cover. 20 calves are being weaned off this week on the automatic feeder with no stress. Silage fertiliser gone out this week.|
|Comment:||Cows vaccinated for lepto and also gave them a mineral bolus. Cleaned out calf house. 1100 on first paddocks grazed will continue to graze first round to let covers build heavy frost at night is slowing down regrowth.|
|Comment:||Cows had to be housed over the weekend for a couple of nights. Maiden heifers got their shot for lepto. 10% of cows left to calf.|
|Comment:||40% Grazed. Cows back out full time. Bulls picked and up on Sire Advice. Will use sexed semen on heifers.|
|Comment:||Cows back in full time we tried going out for 2 or 3 hours in the day time but they were doing too much damage. 18% of the cows still to calf.|
|Comment||Grass cover to be carried out this week. 24% grazed this week. Clean outs are excellent with dry weather. Cows are out full time on 4kgs of meal. Got 2500gals of slurry out on fields that were grazed with trailing shoe at the weekend|
|Comment:||75% of Cows calved. Cows out by day and out for 3 hours after evening milking. Maiden heifers vaccinated for lepto. 23 units of protected urea going out on any ground that got slurry and 40 units on ground that got non. Hope to get out more slurry on ground that is grazed with trailing shoe this week.|
Updates from Previous Years
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