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Steven Fitzgerald - Aglish West Waterford

Teagasc Glanbia Future Farm Focus

Go To: Weekly Updates

  • Steven is farming with his parents, 121Ha near Aglish, Co. Waterford, of which 52Ha is leased.
  • They are milking 123 cows in 2019 and 40 replacement units. The plan is to milk 180 cows.
  • The calving interval is 367 days and a 93% six week calving rate.


Video Signpost Programme

Overview of the farm

This video gives an overview of the farm & explains the plan to increase cow numbers gradually over the next 5/6 years. Last year they invested in winter accommodation for 70 cubicles & plan on doing the milking parlour next. Every year they are trying to do something to improve the farm.


Farm Updates


2021

Week
start

Litres / Cow

Fat
%

Protein
%

SCC

 

Milk solids
Day/Kg

Meal Kg
Cow/day

Average Farm
cover

Cover
per LU

Pre grazing
yield Kg DM

Demand Kg
DM/ha

Growth Kg
DM/ha

September 13th  20.5 4.6 3.81 86 1.77 2 1200 465 2100 50 63
Comment A lot of grass on the platform and pre grazing too high for stocking rate so if weather permits will try cut out one paddock and bring extra stock back to help lower AFC. SCC starting to clim so will give garlic blouses to the 5 highest cell count cows from last milk recording. Scanned heifers last week 2 out of 42 empty, one of them has an embryo loss and the other has been cycling every 3 weeks, 78% conception to 1st service. 
August 30th 20.1 4.44 3.78 43 1.7 2 1100 400 2100 43 62

Comment

Grass growth still holding well with a lot of grass in front of the cows and cattle, cattle and excellent conditions for grazing. Fertiliser finished this week. Scanning planned for this week. Sprayed some paddocks with clover safe spray for docks. 

August 23rd

21.42 4.21 3.74 46 1.75 2.0 971 351 1700 48 101

Comment

Plan to take out one paddock  for bales to manage surge in growth. 3 cows seen bulling this week that were served in early May, disappointing but happens every year and probably due to heat stress in July.  Winter feed budget done and happy with quantity of feed available. 

August 16th

21.4 4.41 3.64 55 1.78 2 825 295 1550 48 65
Comment Grass quality and growth going very well and farm was well cleaned off during a dry spell so quality should hold into Autumn. Spreading 25 units of fertiliser after the cows and plan to spread 1.5 rounds before closed period. 

August 9th

22.80 4.12 3.65 48 1.82 2.0 684 247 1500 48 64

Comment

Grass growth is recovering well after a growth of 25kg/DM/day, 10 days ago. Following cows with 25 units of nitrogen to slowly start building covers for the Autumn. 3rd Grazing of multi species over the weekend, cows seem to enjoy it. 
July 26th 24.7 3.97 3.59 48 1.92 2 715 260 1450 47 59

Comment

Growth better than expected with the high temperature last week, took out two paddocks last week. Baled the 2nd cut silage yielded 5.5 bales to the acre and quality was excellent. Set some redstart for grazing in the Winter time. 

July 19th

23.9 4.10 3.54 55 1.88 2 689 250 1550 47 80
Comment Excellent growth last week, would like to take out a couple of paddocks but with the dry weather we will hold off and graze them and take out paddocks later. Cows under pressure with the heat so keeping them in sheltered padocks  and near the water wells so tanks always full. Setting 6 acres of redstart  this week for grazing over the winter. 

July 12th

25.40 4.19 3.62 45 2.05 2.0 590 202 1400 51 58

Comment

No big surpluses of grass on the farm yet plan to keep cows in covers of 1400 to try hold milk solids. Following grazing with 15 units. Breeding finished on the 5th of July. 

July 5th

23.9 4.06 3.66 36 2.10 2.0 624 211 1300 49 58

Comment

Had 28mls of rain over the weekend, which was badly needed, as growth was very poor up until last Saturday. Bulls still with the cows but nothing bulling  for the 6 days. 290kg/MS per cow sold and 450 kgs of meal fed. Grazed the new multi species over the weekend and the cows cleaned them out very well. 
June 21st  26.7  4.05  3.53  33  2.03  561  189  1450  50  70 
Comment  Grzed reseed this week at a cover of 900kg DM/ha and will try graze again in 14 days. Calves recieved wormer this week and seem to be thriving well on heavier  covers and 1kg of meal. Cows treated for flys to make milking easier and help cows relax. Spreading 15 units of protected urea after each grazing also spreading watery slurry on paddocks taken out for bales with trailing shoe.  

June 16th

25.75 4.35 3.60 51 2.04 2.0 517 149 1550 57 76

Comment 

Taking out paddocks for bales and topping with the last week to get grass back on track, hopefully this will improve quality. Pit silage in with the wetter conditions of last week was hard to get it in perfect but its glad its done with a very heavy crop. Sprayed reseeds and hope to graze at a cover of 800kg dm/ha at the weekend.

May 31st

28.30 4.10 3.60 42 2.18 2.0 750 226 1600 54 56

Comment:

Cows are finally getting some sun on their backs, it has been a difficult few weeks on them and yield and solids back on last year. Too much grass on the farm so plan to stop some of the paddocks that were badly gazzed in the wet weather and bake them in 3 weeks. Used trailing shoe in 25 acres of grazzed ground and plan to spread most of the platform this year with the trailing shoe. Grass quality will be a priority for the next two week's.

May 18th

28.6 4.23 3.52 53 2.21 2.0 655 188 1400 57 56

Comment:

Milder weather is very welcome to help grass to get growing and back up where it should be for the time of year. 66% after 15days of breeding, 3 cows not after showing any heat since calving so will get these checked over the next week. Sprayed 5 acres off and plan to bale this week and sow mixed species on this ground as a trial to help reduce nitrogen on the Farm.

May 10th

30.9 4.12 3.57 41 2.3 2.5 624 170 3.6 60 35

Comment:

Last week's weather set growth back and hoping for a good recovery after the rain. Have a few paddocks taken out for bales will graze the lighter ones if growth is slow to recover. Breeding started on 1st May all cows and heifers and cows on track to do over 90% in 3 weeks. Following cows with 20units of protected urea with slupher.

April 26th

29.8 4 3.40 42 2.2 2 739 209   58 45

Comment:

Meal down to 2kg and getting cows to graze tightly for this roynd to ensure clean swards for the Summer. Increased stocking rate by taking out paddocks for bales and 5 acres for reseeding. Growth of 45 last week that will be higher this week with an increase of temperature. First 45 calves weaned and treated for Coccidiosis eating 1.2kg meal.

April 19th

29.5 3.85 3.43 40 2.2 3.5 690 250   36 36

Comment:

Grass dry matter is between 20-22%. Cold weather is having an impact on the appearance of the farm. a lot of paddocks and yellow burnt looking, only got 3ml of rain over the weekend. The cows are very content considering its the second rotation grass and dry matter is helping this. Big drop off in butterfat, lack of fibre and time of year causing this.

April 12th

30  4.07  3.46  51  2.25  600  231    35  36 
 Comment: Started the 2nd rotation 5th of April, grazed two days of the cattle ground to insure we did not start too early with the cold weather and average growth rates. Calving finished on the 4th, all cows have plenty of time to be submitted in first 3 weeks of breeding. Cows tail painted for pre breeding, red or not seen bulling and blue once heat observed. 70% of cows cycling planned breeding will start the 1st of May. Reseeding complete this week in super conditions.        
29th March 31.6 4.13 3.36 75 2.30 4 650 266 1400 29 30
Comment: Planned start of the second round is Monday the 5th with the 950 on the first paddock to be grazed, a lot of paddocks between 700 and 800. Silage ground is now grazed and will get 24-2.5-10+ sulpher this week, rate will depend on what level of slurry it has received.
March 22nd 31.7  4.52  3.32  70  2.4  714  291  2000  29  26 
Comment: Growth picking up and closing in on demand, 2nd of fertiliser going out this week, 35 units of protected urea on ground that has got slurry and 30 units of 18-6-12 on ground that has had no slurry. 2 Cows with ketosis this week vet treated them and are recovering, due to being turned out on full grass and meal too close after calving. 18 acres sprayed off for reseeding when weather picks up. Maiden heifers weighed average weight 290kgs and showing good heats.
March 15th 29.5 4.65 3.36 61 2.3 3.5 720  325  800-1600 27  12 
Comment: Growth disapointing but due to the cold weather and heavy rain it was expected. Cows were housed by night for 5 nights last week on good bales, this helped hold farm cover. Maiden heifer back on grass full time and lighter cattle grazing silage ground. Cows have 65% grazed and will hold them on 3.5 acres a day to bring us up to April 5th.
March 8th 28  4.82  3.34  68  2.2  780  341  1200  28  17 
Comment: With 90% of cows calved the demand for grass is high and are dropping the average farm cover faster than we would like, we will assess it at the end of the week. Whole farm received 35units of fertiliser to the acer last week. Cows out full time eating 13kg grass and 3kg meal.
March 1st 22  4.76  3.48  84  1.81  850    900  22 6
Comment: Cows out full time while weather allows us to get area grazed. Whole farm received 35 units protected urea this week. 80% calved. Calves on milk replacer. Replacement heifers and lighest cattle out on silage ground.

 

Updates from Previous Years

View 2020 and 2019 updates

Steven Fitzgerald Fertiliser and labour planning

Steven Fitzgeralds outlines his fertilizer and labour plans for spring 2020.