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Farm Updates 2021

Future Farm Summary February 2021

Update - Week Ending February 26th


16th June 2021

June 2021

May 2021


April 2021

14th July 2021


1st July 2021


August 2021

August 2021

11th of August

Updates 2020

Week StartLitres/ CowFat %Protein %SCCkg MS/CowMeal kg/cow/dayAverage Farm CoverCover/LUPre Grazing Yield/kg DMDemand/Ha

Growth Rate/Ha



Nov 9th  14.5 5.07 4.50 107 1.4 3 740





Applied lime to 30% of the milking platform this week at a rate of 2.25ton/ acre. 85% grazed and closed for the Spring, cows out full time but will start to stretch remaining grass by housing any wet day/night. Vasectomised 2 of the bull calves to help with heat detection next year. Freeze branded the maiden heifers this week.

 Nov 2nd 16.21 4.76 4.42 93 1.53 3 953





Picked out 10% of herd for drying off last weekend and will do the same every week until we finish milking on the 10th of December. Have identified 40 cows for selective dry cow therapy (only use sealer at drying) these cows have had a scc of under 50 for two locations. Adding slurry enhancer to slurry tanks to improve quality of slurry for next spring. Housed cows for 2 nights at the weekend, have enough grass to keep cows at grass full time until 20th of November weather permitting. 

 Oct 19th 18.2 5.16 4.22 93 1.79 2 1250





Heifers coming back onto platform to help cows clean out paddocks with heavy covers. 13 tonnes grown to date and 230kg of N per hectare on milking platform spread. 40% closed for the spring with 450kg/DM on first paddock closed. 

Oct 12th   17.1 4.79 4.26 71 1.06 2 1300





Milk recording this week and will start to pick out cows for drying after this, cows with poor condition, twins, sore feet. 30% of platform closed this week,got 3000gals of dirty water with trailing shoe. Started to do some maintenance on the sheds for the Winter this week.

 Oct 5th 19.2 4.69 4.29 52 1.77 2 1350 600 2000



Cows holding yield very well considering heavy covers. Grazed some reseeds and hope to give them another light graze in two weeks. We should be grazing just over 3 acres a day to make 60% closed by 1st of Novemeber target, we were behind this so skipping some heavy covers and grazing lighter covers for the next week.

 Sept 28th 18 4.67 4.03 62 1.61 1.5 1350 600 2500


 Comment At Peak farm cover this week with growth going closer to demand, a lot of very heavy covers on the farm. Paddocks grazed today will probably not be grazed again until the Spring so making sure we get good clean outs. Will start to spread last of slurry and dirty water after paddocks grazed on last round.     
Sept 21st  18.5 4.47 3.93 95 1.6 2 1450 600 2500



Weighed in calf heifers and calves at the weekend, calves weighed on average 188kgs, in calf heifers 470kgs. High growth this week and a lot of heavy covers on the farm but cows cleaning out paddocks well, cows will remain on low level of meal while weather remains dry to help get through covers. Spent 3 days away from the farm at the weekend.

 Sept 14th 19.2 4.40 3.95 47 1.66 1.5 1181 488 2450



 Weather ideal for grazing heavy covers. Fertilizer finished so will start using dirty water to follow cows after grazing.

Sept 7th  18.6 4.43 3.9 65 1.61 1.5 1150 470 2100



Increase in grass dry matter has helped settle the cows and helped with grazing out the heavier covers. Treated 3 lame cows last week. Last round of fertilizer completed. Higher than expected growth will graze cows and heifers rather than mowing for bales.

Aug 31st  18.4 4.66 3.82 76 1.61 1.5 960 400 2000



Recent wet weather really set back the cows but solids starting to climb. Grazing paddocks now that will be first closed for Winter, graze now and again early October. Calves dosed for worms. Strong calves off meal.

Aug 24th  20.4 4.28 3.67 60 1.75 1.5 780 290 1800



Ground conditions getting difficult and last week's heavy rain and wind upset the cows and dropped milk solids. Scanned all cows and heifers 12 out of 142 cows empty and 2 out of 40 heifers empty, after 9 weeks breeding. Six week in calf rate will be around 92%. Blanket spread of the farm will happen early next week 30 units of 29-0-14

Aug 17th  21 2.39 3.74 65 1.75 1 772 286 1500



Took out 3 paddocks for bales at the weekend, difficult to get a dry spell but with consistant good growth had to take these out. Sprayed one more paddock for reseeding last Saturday and will set with moore direct drill Thursday, hoping for a quick turnaround time. Bringing back the in heifers for a couple of weeks to graze two paddocks that cant be mowed for bales to keep on top of surplus. Milk recording and one in 8 weeks to decide what cows are suitable for selective dry cow therapy. 

 Aug 10th 22.2 4.31 3.73 74 1.83 1.5 730 300 1500


 Comment 10 acres finally reseeded at the weekend, ground was too wet to do it before the weekend. Cows enjoying the heat and hope yields hold for the remainder of the month with plenty good quality grass in front of the cows. New spur roads and a new road completed this week to help grazing in the Autumn.
 July 27th 24 4.01 3.71 61 1.9 1.5 609 172 1550 54 55
Comment  Expected growth to be higher will keep heifers on the platform for another week. 3 paddocks out of rotation for bales. 10 acres to be reseeded this week. All sheds power washed and ready for the Winter again.
July 20th  24 4.06 3.72 63 1.94 1.5 700 260 1550 45 58
Comment  Bringing Heifers back to platform to reduce farm cover and increase demand this week. 4 more paddocks planned to take out for bales in the next 10 days. 2nd cut of silage being done this week. Cubicle sheds and calving boxes power washed this week.
 July 14th 25 4.13 1.76 71 2.01 1.5 609 236 1550 44 62
 Comment Grass holding up well, plan on taking out the paddocks for bales and topping up every week for the next 3 weeks to set the farm up for the second half of grazing season. Following the cows with 18 units of protected urea. Clear BT test last week a big relief.
July 7th  25.5 4.00 3.67 31 2.01 1.5 644 288 1400 48 83
 Comment Cut out surplus paddocks and ground sprayed off for reseeding. Cows grazing covers of 1400 and quaility is after improving greatly. Herd test tomorrow will be completed this week, so will increase meal for a few days to compensate for a break in cows routine. Bulls removed from cows, very little activity with the past week and I hope breeding has been a success with a compact breeding season.
June 30th  25.8 4.13 3.68 56 2.07 2 700 248 1400 48 68
Comment  Growth has taken off again and a lot of surplus grass starting to build up. Plan spraying off ground for reseedng and winter forage crops this week. All calves weaned and on 1kg meal and low covers of grass. Dried off one 8th lactation cow with persistant high SCC and no response to treatment.
 June 22nd 26 3.92 3.55 47 2 2.5 5.19 217 1400 41 42
Comment  22mm of rain here on Saturday night and 7mm Monday has changed the farm and the grass quality cows were eating. Yield and solids were suffering. Skipped 4 paddocks to get the pre grazing yield down and improve grass quality. 440kg of meal fed per cow, year to date and 260kgs of milk solids per cow sold. Back topping to try get swards right for the next rotation.
 June 15th 26.35 3.91 3.61 53 1.98 1.5 678 174 1300 66 45
Comment  30mls of rain fell over the lst few days just in time to reduce soil moisture deficit. 30 Units of protected urea plus sulpher spread on milking platform before the rain. Had a clear TB test during the week, which was a relief after one reactor last year. Maiden heifers vaccinated with IBR live and will recieve booster in December. Sold 4 cull cows to the factory and 3 to the mark as we couldnt afford to carry passengers during the drought situation. SCC has greatly reduced after treating 3 highest cows on milk recording results.
June 8th  28  3.92  3.64  44  2.01  654  257  1600  38  56 
Comment  Growth is starting to drop back and sead heads starting to appear so we increased the pre-grazing yield to 1600 and the meal to 4kg to increase the rotation to 25 days. Will follow cows with units of fertilizer. Bulls with the cows and using AI straws aswell
May 25th  28.6 3.84 3.60 36 2.20 2.5 604 191 1400 47 60
Comment 3 weeks of AI now complete, 5 cows not served if no heat seen this week, will check them out with the vet. Two angus bulls brought back home to run with the cows at a time and I will AI any cows with Hereford straws as well. 1st cut of silage picked up Monday in great condition. The rain at the weekend was welcomed but with a dry week forcast again we cant drop the cover per cow too low.
May 18th  29 3.99 3.59 51 2.23 2.5 667 254 1400 40 52
 Comment Growth is back this week - lack of rain fall is having a big affect. Pre-mowed 1 paddock that was for bales 2200kgDM/Ha cover, this was to keep grass infront of the cows as there was no rain in the forecast. Plan on taking out different paddocks if enough rain falls at the end of the week and increasing stocking rate. 77% of cows served after 18 days of breeding and 100% of the heifers served. Following cows with 20units of protected urea and 4units of sulphur. Cows treated with fly repellent.
 May 11th 28.80 4.02 3.59 66 2.20 2.5 594 218 1400 40 67
 Comment Cows grazing a 24-36hr allocations. Bales taken off the platform last week so stocking rate reduced again with the extra ground back in. Breeding going well - started on the 1st May and just over 40% served in the first 10days - tail paint freshened up twice a week. Over half the calves are weaned and grazing covers of 1900kgDM/ha and 1kg of meal - the remainder of calves are on once a day and out full time. The main job this week is to get the silage pits ready for silage at the end of May.
 April 27th 31.5 4.01 3.65 40 2.41 2.5 577 192 1400 44 60
 Comment A lot of grass on the platform and surplus' to be taken out over the next couple of weeks. Paddocks will be reseeded at the end of this week with the Moore universal drill after grazing. Cows that were being milked once a day have shown heat. Starting the breeding season on Friday 1st May.
 April 20th 30.5 3.80 3.59 58 2.26 2.5 668 248 1400 40 58
 Comment 15% of the platform taken out for bales, hope to cut it next week. Reseeding done last week, great conditions. Planning on burning off another paddock for reseeding as growth has passed demand. Cows tail painted and a lot of bulling but will get cows not seen bulling examined in the first week of breeding. Planned start of AI - 1st May. First group of calves weighed 95kg and weaned off and out fulltime eating .9kg of meal and grazing a cover of 700kgDM/ha. Remainder of calves on once a day and out by day.
 April 6th 30.40 3.90 3.49 52 2.25 4 500 221 1400 28 28
 Comment Only fed silage after 4 milking's last week and pulled it when weather started to improve and got good forecast. Big drop in Fat% in the milk this week - will watch and see if it improves. Cover has dropped a lot but feel that we are heavily stocked and the grass is ready to power on this week after the rain and increase in temperature.  Cows were all tail painted last week for pre-breeding, cows painted red first and blue after signs of heat. Any red cows will be checked out before breeding starts on the 1st May. Cows got Lepto vaccine this week and the heifers got boosters.
 March 30th 30 4.30 3.49   2.30 4 570 279 1400 28 20
 Comment Cows diet is 10kg grass, 4kg 14% protein meal, 2kg baled silage. Cover dropped a lot this past week with almost all of the cows calved the demand is increasing so put in baled silage to hold up the cows until 8th April. Calves out by day. Fertiliser to be spread on silage ground this week.
 March 23rd 27 4.87 3.38   2.19 4 661 346 1400 24 15
 Comment Cow's diet was 12kg grass and 4kg meal for the last week. We are grazing wetter land and heavier covers to get through the grass so we have taken silage out of the diet last week. We plan to extend the first round to the 10th April. Second round of fertiliser is gone out. Almost 70units of N/ac gone out on all of the farm either with fertiliser or slurry. All cattle and replacement heifers are out and grazing silage ground and plan to follow them with slurry this week and spread silage fertiliser later.
 March 16th 27.8 4.41 3.43   2.19 4 723 379 1400 16 12
 Comment Cows diet still the same with roughly 8kg grass, 4kg meal, & 3kg silage. Silage is in the form of bales made from surplus grass last summer. Put 4 cows and heifers on once a day milking to try build their condition before breeding - these cows had twins or difficult calving's. 55% grazed as of Paddy's Day - a bit behind but happy considering the rough spring and there is not a major amount of grass on the farm - will start second rotation close to the 10th April. There is between 400-500kg Dm/Ha on the first grazed paddock.
 March 9th 25 4.30 3.51   2.09 4 750 393 1100 16 12
Comment  Grazing is proving very difficult - starting to run out of wet day paddocks and easily accessed paddocks - using a lot of reels which is increasing the work load but the cows are responding well to the grass in their diet and we hope it will pay off later in the year. When cows are housed we are using a mixture of lime & peat on the cubicles and this is done every day or twice a day - also using disinfectant on cubicles every 3 days. 40% grazed and slurry has been spread on this at a rate of 2500gals with the dribble bar system. Hope to spread second round of protected urea when weather and ground allow, 46 units on anything that did not get slurry and 23 where slurry has gone out.
 March 2nd 20 4.78 3.63     4 720   1100   8
 Comment Grazing when possible still being achieved. Cows diet made up of 4kg meal, 3kg silage, 7kg grass. 75% calved to date. Plan on spreading slurry with pipe (Dribble Bar) system this week on grazed paddocks as our ground is too soft for tankers.
 February 24th           4 740   1100 25 3
 Comment On/Off grazing system used all week - ground conditions very poor but cows grazing well. Holding cows for an hour after milking just to increase appetite at turn out. 25% of area grazed to date - slightly behind traget. Grazing low covers to speed up area grazed and to get ground ready for slurry spreading.
February 17th                1100     
Comment 50% of the herd calved & all going well. Cows still on OAD milking. Only 10% of the farm grazed, target is to get 30% grazed by the end of Feb. Going to target lower covers once the weather allows tp help get through the area. Only 8 out of 14 grazings were achieved this week due to very poor ground conditions. Trying to leave cows graze for a few hours every day. Slight isssue with scour over the weekend with 25 of the older calves. They were given electrolytes between milk feed which has helped them get over this.
February 10th               800     
Comment  47 cows calved - 20% calved before the expected calving date which wasn’t until 6th February. Cows have grass at every opportunity -day or night – weather permitting. Cows are milked once a day. 




Updates 2020

Week StartLitres/ CowFat %Protein %SCCkg MS/CowMeal kg/cow/dayAverage Farm CoverCover/LUPre Grazing Yield/kg DMDemand kg DM/Ha

Growth kg DM/Ha

Feb 22nd



3.70 86    


550     5


Cows at grass when possible, its been a very difficult spring to manage grass, a lot of on/off grazing. Calving going well, 75% calved. Had a few cases of milk fever so started using bolus on older cows and sweetened calmag with dry cow minerals. No fertiliser out yet, hope to cover the farm at the end of the week.  

 Nov 9th

15.28 5.1 4.01 167 1.4 4


184 1200 40 12


Milking platform closed on Saturday 6th of November so cows on silage with 4kg meal diet for rest of year. Cows were out full-time last week to get all ground grazed before ground conditions deteriorated. Aiming for AFC of 750kg on 1st of December. Calves will be out for another week at least depending on weather. Housing all ready now for when young stock have to be housed. Spread lime at rate of 2 ton/acre on 40 acres that was below ph 6 on soil samples.

 Nov 2nd

16.5 4.98 4.09 95 1.5 4


288 1300 23 30


Cows have been housed when wet and out when dry either day or night, they were in full-time over the weekend but will be out full-time all this week. 80% closed from 1st Oct to 1st of Nov but might graze paddocks that were grazed in first week of October depending on AFC and weather.

Oct 19th 

16.45 4.74 4.15 106 1.46 2


278 1600 40 27


Almost 60% of the milking platform is closed to date, remaining 40% will be streched out over the next month. Plan is to graze whenever conditions are dry whether that be by day or night by feeding it should help clean outs when cows are out. Last of the slurry was spread in the first half of the week. Replaced broken stakes around the farm while ground conditions were still good. 

 Oct 12th

16.77 4.51 4.14 110 1.45 2


340 1400 46 25


Started closing paddocks on the 1st of October and have 30% closed to date. The plan is to get through as much as possible before the weather and ground conditions deteriorate too much. Milk recorded during the week, the timing is important as the results will be used for selecting cows for teat sealer only when drying off the first batch in a couple of weeks.

Oct 5th 

16.5 4.78 4.08 102 4.46 2


417 2100 46 35


Cows performance has improved in the last week due to grazing good quality covers in dry conditions. Were on 36 hour grazing up until now but will go back to 24 hour blocks from this week on. The webinar and virtual farm walk that we hosted on Thursday was a huge success. Thanks to everyone involved, especially Richard O'Brien for the hugh amount of work he put into organising and coordinating it. The U-Tube webinar link for the webinar can be accessed through the Teagasc website.

Sept 28th 

15.82  4.86  3.99  94  1.4 


417  2100  46  25 


Another good week for grazing conditions which has helped utilisation in heavy covers. Growth was over estimated slightly last week, has averaged around 40 for the last couple of weeks. The past couple of weeks has been spent lobbying TDs & MEPs on young farmers issues with macra and also getting ready for the webinar and virtual farm walk this week. Hope you can all tune in at 11am on the 1st of October to see what we are doing on our farm to reduce the carbon footprint.

 Sept 21st

17.12 4.54 3.74 96 1.42 2


468 2300 46 53

Growth has been good for the time of year and the dry weather provided an opportunity to graze heavy covers and wetter land. There was a change of plan and no nitrogen was spread for the last round except for 30 units on the reseed. The milking platform received 23 units of protected urea and the silage ground received 2 bags of 18-6-12 on the 31st of July and no chemical nitrogen since the whole farm received one bag of 16% Super p last week. Some of the reseed that was stitched in is patchy in places so we spread some seed on top of the soil in those areas during the week. Calves were coughing a bit so received 3rd dose of the year 6 weeks since last one.

Sept 14th 16.88 4.44 3.74 74 1.38 2


446 1800 46 36

Cows have been grazing heavy covers very well after a good dry spell. Cows walking long distances and crossing busy roads to graze silage fields but will be back on home block this week. Fields with a lot of clover and cover over 1600 received no nitrogen in the last round. Watery slurry spread on clover fields with low emission slurry system.  

 Sept 7th 17.27 4.34 3.65 102 1.38 2


482 2700 46 53

Have reached peak AFC now and cows are grazing heavy covers well after a good dry wek and another one to come. No nitrogen has been spread on the farm in the last month and the plan is that half of the farm will get 20 units of protected urea and the whole farm will get one bag of super P. Scanned cows through the milk recording last week and 6% confirmed empty after 12 weeks breeding but suspect it will be higher as a few have to be rechecked.  

 Aug 31st 17.61 4.39 3.73 97 1.43 2


433 2400 46 50

Grazing high covers in silage fields now after 2 cuts and quality is good so planning on grazing it all. No grass cut since the 15th of July so good bank of grass built up. Fencing the new roadways this week. Cows vaccinated for salmonella, clipped and foot bathed. Liners changed but should have been done a month previously after 2000 milking. 610kg of meal fed per cow so far this year. 11 ton of grass grown on average on the farm to date. 8 grazing average on milking platform this year to date.

 Aug 24th 18.08 4.27 3.71 144 1.44 1


272 1400 63 55

50mls of rain fell here on Monday which softened the ground and made grazing conditions tricky for the week. Storm Ellen didn't help matters but the wind during midweek has helped dry things up again. On Tuesday we had a smash and grab job to get reseeding done, we got 20 out of 22 acres done but remainder was too soft to finish. Put in underground ducting for solar panels on Tuesday. Replaced 30 single slats that were starting to crack.

 Aug 17th 20.04 4.19 3.68 85 1.58 1


200 1400 76 80
Comment  There was a big surplus of grass with AFC of over 1100.80 when all the land is available a third cut will be taken on some ground as soon as weather allows. 22 acres sprayed off for reseeding last weekend and grazed off this weekend. Will hopefully stitch in seed during the week if we get a dry day. Put in new roadways in silage ground to give access to furthest away fields in the shoulders of the year.
Aug 10th  20.45 4.33 3.70 101 1.64 1 874 207 1400 72 70
Comment  Grass growth has been high for this time of year after a wet and warm week. 22 acres taken out for reseeding. Calves dosed with pour on after they started coughing last week. Hoof has been paired on 14 cows that had overgrown hooves and would have become lame if not trimmed. Had a few days away up North to recharge the batteries after a busy year. Its important to get a break this time of year once things quieten down.
 July 27th 22.04 4.13 3.72 122 1.73 1.0 713 212 1400 57 65
Comment  Grass growth is slowing down now and 30mls of rain last night (26th) was welcome. Blanket spread milking platform with 23 units of protected urea and all the silage ground is getting 2 bags/acre of 18-6-12. Finished breeding during the week after 12 weeks, there have been a few bulling since but this will hopefully quieten down. Stocked up on straw for the Winter this wekend..
July 20th  22.73 4.03 3.67 130 1.75 1.0 503 196 1400 44 72
 Comment Second cut silage was done during the week, It was a heavy crop averaging about 4500kgDM/ha. We should have sufficient quality of Winter feed now budgeting for a 5 month Winter. All ground will be available for the cows now so will probably take out some area for reseeeding over the next few weeks as growth will exceed so will have surplus.
July 14th  21.4 4.12 3.66 87 1.66 1.0 666 174 1400 65 72
 Comment Two paddocks on milking platform cut on Monday at covers of 2500kg of DM/ha and one paddock cut on Friday at 2000kgDM/HA cover. Grass quality and residuals are excellent at the moment and the cows are very content. Rotation has been 19 days given the high growth rates of late. We had our local discussion group here on Thursday and the Future Farm group visited on Friday. It was great to meet up again after a busy year so far, many Farmers haven't been away from the yard much so its important  that there is some social element as it can be very isolating especially for Farmers working alone.
July 7th  22.82 4.04 3.62 82 1.75 1 810 183 1400 75 78
Comment  Cows have been more unsettled this week, probably as a result of high nitrogen levels in the grass so cleanouts haven't been as good. 3 Paddocks have been skipped and will be cut this week so demand is high at the moment. The grazing platform was spread with 20 units of protected urea. Breeding is finished with the heifers after 10 weeks and the Aubrac bull has been brought back to the cows.
 June 30th 23.57 4.02 3.53 69 1.78 1.5 789 179 1400 75 75
Comment  A grass surplus has developed very quickly after all the rain, so a couple of paddocks have been skipped over to cut for bales this week. Production has slipped back now with lower dry matter in the grass and lower intakes but residuals have been good. Repeats have been quiet but will do another 3 weeks of breeding with the aim of keeping as many mature cows in the herd as possible and lowering the replacement rate.
June 22nd  24 3.97 3.50 78 1.80 1.5 742 190 1300 66 76
 Comment Yield has dropped back a lot this week due to tight grazing and the rain effect. Cows have been very content and the farm is set up for the summer so happy to take the short term loss for long term gain. Received 60mls of rain over the week so expecting a big surge in growth over the next couple of weeks. Carrying out maintenance work around the yard these days, we have great help this summer from a 17 year old from down the road with no farm but a great interest. An important part of social sustainability.
June15th  26.5 4.07 6.64 54 2.1 2.5 621 244 1600 38 50
Comment  Rain at the weekend was welcomed, grass quality not what we would like but the cows are very content and lucky to have grass on the farm. Increased the pre grazing yield two weeks to 1600 by grazing and pre mowing paddocks intended for bailing. Plan on taking out the paddocks next rotation that are badly grazed and have a lot of stem at the base, Following cows with 20 units of fertilizer. All first and second calves dosed this week with a non-milk withdrawel wormer
June 8th 26.64  3.54  111  2.01  753  193  1400  51  66 
Comment  Growth dropping now as drought takes hold and no significant rain forecast this week. Plan to graze second cut silage ground to fill the deficit. Milking platform received 30 units of protected urea plus sulpher. Replacement heifer calves were faecal samples and moved to after grass. Results back with no eggs seen but as most of the calves were couging they were dosed for lungworm. Sold 4 cows to the factory and 3 to the mart, we cant afford to carry passangers during a drought, upgraded water supply in problem areas on the milking platform. Milk records results came back and the highest 3 SCC were CMT to find out and problem quater treated accordingly. Dairy AI has been carried out for 6 weeks now so Angus bull will be left off with the cows today, around 70% conception rates to first service.
May 25th 27.3  4.04  3.47  132  2.05  2.0  680  174  1300  62  63 
Comment  15mls of rain arrived just in time on Thursday night. Only needed to increase meal feeding to 3kg for 2 days to hold pre grazing covers at 1300kgDM/HA. First cut silage was completed on Wednesday 20th of May in ideal conditions. 3 Bags of 18-6-12 plus sulpher for second cut and will be topped up with another bag in a few weeks. Breeding is going well so far with 12 cows out of 120 left to serve and 23 repeats in 4th week. All heifers have been served to FR AI and have been left off with aubrac bull nos.
May 18th  27.59 3.96 3.52 92 2.06 2.0 623 160 1400 62 60
 Comment Cut 18 acres of 2500kgDM/ha covers on milking platform this week. Watery slurry spread on these fields at 3000 gallons/acre. We had been planning on cutting them next week with the rest of first cut but we need them back in rotation due to restricted growth. Meal will be increased to 4kg on Tuesday to hold rotation length at 20days. 90% of cows submitted in 21 days of breeding. The whole milking platform was spread with 40units of protected urea with 7% sulphur.
 May 11th 27.56 4.02 3.37 85 2.04 2.0 780 167 1300 75 82
 Comment Breeding is going well so far with 50% submitted in the first 11 days. Scanned 8 non-cycling cows and all needed treatment. 35 acres of pit silage made over the weekend from ground that had not been grazed. Grazing covers of 1300kgDM/ha in 24hr paddocks. Taking out surplus paddocks this week. Cold dry week forecast so growth will drop and have to be careful not to end up with grass deficit.  
 April 27th 29.82 4.14 3.46 107 2.27 2.0 677 145 1300 70 78
 Comment Four paddocks skipped this week after spurt in growth. Cows on 24hr grazing's in 1300kgDM/ha covers. 18 day rotation this time of year. Last cow calved yesterday (26/04) and breeding starts today. Purchased a super young Aubrac bull that is gone to the heifers in Cork to mop up after 3 weeks of Friesian AI. Sparyed autumn reseeds with Dockstar as a lot of chickweed in sward. Not clover safe so will have to oversow clover back in.
 April 20th 29.34 4.11 3.42 120 2.21 3 626 161 1200 54 47
Comment  Got 15mls of rain over the weekend which came just in time as grass was geting tight. Residuals have been excellent the last couple of weeks grazing covers of 1200kgDM/ha in dry conditions. Upgraded our water supply in the silage ground which is grazed by milking cows in the shoulder of the year 400 gallon troughs fed by inch and a quater piping in a loop system will supply more than enough water for 200 cows. Sold 25 surplus replacement heifer calves. 40 relacement heifers were left out to grass during the week.
 April 6th 28.37 4.16 3.38 98 2.14 3 657 209 1200 44 18
 Comment Starting second rotation today 6th April. Decided to allocate 15Ha to early cut silage in early May after the rain on Sunday. Covers of 1200 on first grazed paddocks which is what is needed for 24hr grazings. Picked out bulls for AI and used Sire advice to allocate to cows. Focus is on high fertility bulls as herd average fertility EBI is below national average. Picked out 25 surplus friesian heifer calves for sale after weaning. 3000 gallons of slurry spread on all silage ground. Finished maintenance work on cow path.
 March 30th 27.8 4.31 3.37   2.14 3 775 253 1600 43 25
 Comment 78% of first rotation grazed. Covers of around 900 left on wetter ground so will finish first rotation in 7 days. Depending on growth this week and AFC at the end of first rotation, we will decide next weekend if we need to graze furthest away fields which were earmarked for an early cut of silage. Spread 2 bags of 18-6-12 across the whole farm. Made the most of the dry week to put down a new roadway for easier access to silage ground for grazing in shoulders of the year. All Friesian bull calves are sold off the farm now.
 March 23rd 27.12 4.57 3.31   2.2 4 734 322 1400 30 15
 Comment 67% of the first rotation grazed. Some heavy covers still left to graze while weather is still dry. 90% calved in 60 days after the first cow calved. Vaccinated the herd for BVD + Lepto. Contract reared heifers received booster for Black Leg + Lepto. Have stayed on the farm as much as possible the last couple of weeks and kept a distance from delivery drivers and milk collection drivers.
 March 16th 27.92 4.47 3.29   2.17 4 790 369 1200 26 12
 Comment Cows have been out all week and mostly in at night. First milk recording of the year was carried out on Monday. Sold 27 more Friesian calves so only 5 left on the farm now and the rest will be beef calves. Cleaned out all the calf sheds during the week.
 March 9th 27.64 4.91 3.37   2.29 4     1500 22  
 Comment Cows have been out fulltime most of the week except for one day and on off grazing used for a couple of days. 37% of the farm is grazed. 12 hour allocations and back fences used to limit soil damage. 80% calved in total. Calving has slowed down now. Heifers received a second shot of wart vaccine. Students from Greenmount College visited the farm during the week with Kildalton College to see a spring calving grass based system.
 March 2nd 23.10 4.57 3.35   1.83 4 953   1000 21 13
Comment  75% of the herd calved to date. there will be a break in calving this week as is usually the case when moving from freisan calves to longer gestation beef calves. 20% of first rotation grazed up to end of February. Cows were on off grazing every day & night this week and should be out fulltime next week on 12 hour allocations. The heifers received the wart vaccine this week and are due another shot on day 8. Hoof pared 5 dry cows that got lame during the week. Sold the first 30 bull calves and most of the heifers are trained on the auto feeder.
 February 24th           4 950   800 8 5
Comment  Only 10% of the platform grazed to date so 15ha of the furthest paddocks allocated to early cut of silage and 75ha for first rotation grazing. Grazing conditions very challenging so on/off grazing used and 3/ 4 hour allocations. 70%  of the herd calved to date. A few cows that held afterbirth due to twins were checked by the vet and given metricure to help them clean up.
February 17th            994    750 
Comment Diet - 4kg meal, 4kg maize, 2kg silage, 2kg grass. 60% of the herd calved. Cows out by day during the week when weather allows. They were in full time over the weekend. Cleaned out calving shed during the week at half way point. First 32 heifer calves have been trained on the automatic feeder. The main issue on the farm at the minute is warts on the heifers. We have taken samples which are being used to make a vaccine for them. 
February 10th                700 
Comment Cows out by day since 1st February. Cows are on 4kg Grass, 2kg Silage, 2kg Maize & 4kg Meal. 3000 gallons of slurry out on one third of the grazing platform using trailing shoe system, the other two thirds got 23 units of protected urea. 30% calved to date even though expected calving wasn’t until 5th February.Carried out maintenance fencing work during the week 


Updates 2019

Week StartLitres/ CowFat %Protein %SCCkg MS/CowMeal kgAverage Farm CoverCover/LUPre Grazing YieldDemand/Ha

Growth Rate/Ha

9th Sep 19.9 4.54 4.00 - 1.73 1.5 784 311 1800 43 67
16th Sep 19.95 4.51 4.13 74k 1.72 1.5 943 375 1800 43 53
23rd Sep 19.4 4.74 4.12 - 1.71 1.5 954 379 2000 43 47
30th Sep 18.9 4.94 4.22 - 1.74 1.5 978 388 2200 43 45
7th Oct 17.6 4.93 4.13 - 1.6 2.0 893 355 1900 43 43
14th Oct 18.6 4.91 4.2 - 1.7 3.5 988 390 2000 43 44
21st Oct 16.0 5.2 4.36 - 1.5 3.5 920 360 1800 43 29
4th Nov 15.68 4.7 4.04 - 1.37 3.5 698 295 1500 17 25
11th Nov 15.0 5.54 4.40 - 1.4 3.5 656 351 1700 30 19



  • 9th Sep - Cows still on 24-36 allocations. In-calf heifers will be moved off the milking platform this week to reduce demand and build cover for the autumn.
  • 16th Sep - Strip wire back in action to help clean out heavy covers, excellent grazing conditions. Heifer calves put back on 1kg of meal to help with condition before winter.
  • 23rd Sep - Slight drop in growth was due to lack of rain but that problem has been fixed since the weekend. 425kgs of milk solids sold per cow year to date. 580kgs of meal fed to date. 1 paddock with a cover of 2500 taken out for bales and dirty water applied to this paddock.
  • 30th Sep - Grazed heaviest cover of 2400kg DM HA over the weekend. Planned start of last round is the 5th of October. Will start to use back fence if rain persists and to mind re-growths. Pregnancy scanning due this week and salmonella vaccine.
  • 7th Oct - First paddocks closed up from the 5th October. Ground conditions becoming soft, 12hr breaks fulltime. Scanning complete 10.5% empty after 9 weeks breeding. All 2019 born calves wormed (injectable wormer).
  • 14th Oct - Grazed some lighter covers this week because of the wet weather and to help get area closed for the spring 35% of platform closed to date, 70% by 1st November. Increased meal to 3.5 to help settle cows with lower dry matters and wet conditions this week. Finishing getting the sheds winter ready this week.
  • 21st Oct - 50% of the milking platform closed. Dried off 5% of the herd. Recent rain made grazing difficult - hopefully very little damage done. 450kg DM Ha on first paddock closed.
  • 4th Nov - Grazing conditions very difficult - Cows housed or on/off grazing used a lot in past 10 days. 15% of the herd dried off, some in poor condition and first calvers.  Plan on drying off a row every Monday. 75% grazed, will graze every opportunity we can to set the farm up for the spring. Young stock and in calf heifers are currently on kale for wet days and grass when conditions allow 60% of their area now closed.
  • 11th Nov - 20% of the herd dried off using antibiotic and sealer - Have 10% of the herd identified to use only sealer as a trial. 90% of the platform now closed. Remaining milking cows will be housed by night at the end of the week to stretch reaming grass. Dirty water will be spread on grazed paddocks if weather allows.

 Updates 2019

Week StartLitres/ CowFat %Protein %SCCkg MS/CowMeal kgAverage Farm CoverCover/LUPre Grazing YieldDemand/Ha

Growth Rate/Ha

9th Sep 19.11 4.45 3.80 - 1.58 1.5 938 353 1400 45 48
16th Sep 17.99 4.46 3.66 - 1.5 1.5 940 360 2100 47 45
23rd Sep 19.23 4.3 3.88 - 1.57 1.5 934 354 2000 44 45
30th Sep 19.16 4.52 3.86 - 1.6 1.5 960 372 2100 44 57
7th Oct 16.74 4.86 3.90 - 1.47 3.0 939 364 1700 39 45
14th Oct 15.82 4.65 3.92 - 1.6 3.0 941 390 1400 36 45
21st Oct 15.97 4.64 4.09 - 1.39 3.5 832 345 1500 36 30
4th Nov 15.3 5.0 4.24 - 1.4 3.5 733 392 1600 30 25
11th Nov 14.97 4.77 3.86 - 1.3 3.5 - - - - -



  • 9th Sep - Cows all on 24hr allocations. Meal will continue on 1.5 kg for the next week. All stock vaccinated for salmonella.
  • 16th Sep - On 36 hour grazing rotation. No strip wire being used – perfect grazing conditions. 3.5 acres surplus cut for bales. Farm spread with 1.5 bags/acre of 18-6-12.
  • 23rd Sep - Back to 12 hour and 24 hour breaks depending on ground conditions after heavy rain over the weekend and forecast for the coming days. Cows dung very loose but still on grass and meal diet only for now as farm cover is on target.
  • 30th Sep - TB retest all clear this week after reactor in July. Monthly Milk recording done this week. Cows on 36 hour grazings. 3kg meal on very wet days when grass intakes low.
  • 7th Oct - Meal up to 3kg due to unsettled weather. Cows back 2.5l – combination of lower feed value in grass, and tight grazing setting the farm  up for spring. Catherine Keena on the farm during the week analysing biodiversity in hedgerows.
  • 14th Oct - Grazed the furthest away and wettest fields this week before ground conditions deteriorate too much. Cows content and cleaning out paddocks well. Treated the 4 highest SCC cows according to the milk recording results. Spread watery slurry on one third of the milking platform.
  • 21st Oct - Grazing conditions challenging throughout the week. Using strip fences for 12 hour breaks and to protect re-growths. No silage in the diet so clean outs very good. Heifers received booster shot for salmonella. Roadways surface poor after rain and 3 cows lame as a result so pared and treated with Tylosin straight away. Attended an interesting event on farm succession organised by Teagasc and IFAC.
  • 4th Nov - Cows have been indoors the last 5 days due to ground conditions. Diet is half maize and half silage. Back out on/grazing this week. 80% of the farm closed up to end of October. Contract reared in calf heifers back on the farm this week. Average weight 528kg. Daily LWG .96kg/day. Weanling heifers will be at contract rearers until this time next year. Average weight 230kg. Daily LWG .87kg/day. Cow’s milk recorded and highest 15 SCC cows will be milk culture tested.
  • 11th Nov - 90% of  the platform is closed to date. Grazing was limited to 4 days this week. When indoors diet is a 50/50 mix of maize and silage. No cows dried off yet. Culture testing showed Staph. Aureus is the primary cause of high SCC in herd and CMS is the other cause of high SCC. Attended Strategic Management course and found it very beneficial in giving me clarity and vision as to the direction that I see the farm business going in the long term.