James is a new entrant to dairy farming and he and his father Jim are milking 380 cows along with tillage near Dunleer, Co. Louth.
The farm is stocked at 3.6 LU/ha on the milking platform. He began milking cows in 2017 and all the milking platform was reseeded the autumn prior to this.
Varieties used were mainly Abergain, Aberchoice and Astonenergy. Having been in long-term tillage the farm is low in soil OM (organic matter) and background nitrogen is low.
Slurry is supplied to paddocks in the spring to help this and Jim blanket spreads 30u N/acre of protected urea every 25 days during the mid-season to feed the grass plant.
In 2019, James’s cross-bred cows produced 440 Kg MS/cow (supplied to Lakeland Dairies) from 500 kg meal. In 2020 James’s farm grew 16.3 T DM/ha.