Steven Fitzgerald - Aglish West Waterford
Teagasc Tirlan Future Farm Focus
- Steven is farming with his wife Catriona and his parents near Aglish in West Waterford. They are farming 150 Ha of which 78 Ha is leased.
- They milked 185 cows in 2023 & 42 replacement units.
- One of the aims for the farm is to increase clover content on the milking platform and to reduce chemical nitrogen inputs.
Calving and early grass 2023
Steven Fitzgerald outlines to programme co ordinator Sandra Hayes Teagasc how calving 2023 is going for him. He stresses the importance of getting lighter covers grazed to have 25-30% grazed by end of Feb so that slurry can be applied to have it back for the 2nd rotation in early April
Steven Fitzgerald Farm 2023
Aglish Farm figures 23rd October 2023
Milk Kg/Day - 13.8
Fat % - 5.29
Protein % - 4.32
Milk solids/Day Kg - 1.34
Meal - 4
AFC - 973
Growth - 45
- Cows were housed for 3 days & put on 4kg of meal & baked silage
- Yield is after falling a lot so hope we get some dry weather to get grass back in the diet and to get paddocks closed up for Winter
- Plan to start taking out some of the cull cows to reduce demand
Biodiversity on Steven's farm is quite good. Enhancing the current features is his main aim. To enhance hedges means allowing them to grow taller, up to 5 ft and to do this gradually over a few years. Also to allow flowering whitethorn and blackthorn tree to grow in the hedge allowing them to flower
Steven takes regular soil samples, every year a fertiliser plan is put in place which he follows. This helps him identify the fields that need additional lime or P&K. Clover has been encouraged through good grassland management practice. When reseeding - 10% every year, he incorporates 1.5kg clover
This is a family farm with Steven's parents & wife Catriona involved. Steven & his Dad primarily work the farm with a student in the Spring & some family labour. Cows have increased from 70 to 170 cows. They have put in a new cubicle shed & are expanding the milking parlour from a 12 to 24 unit.
For the last 5-10 years Fitzgerald's have been trying to breed the most efficient cow. Focussing on EBI & the size of the cow they have more solids for a smaller cow. The EBI of the herd is €196 right now, with strong fertility. Just 6% were empty this year the target is keep under 10% every year
Start of 2022 Breeding Season
Steven outlines his preparation work before the 2022 Breeding season. He notes the importance of having a plan in place and he is using Sire advice on the ICBF website to help him allocate what bulls he is using for what cow. He also uses sexed semen and selects the beef breeds from the DBI listings.
Video Signpost Programme
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.
Updates from Previous Years
Steven Fitzgeralds outlines his fertilizer and labour plans for spring 2020.