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Steven Fitzgerald - Dairy, Dairy Replacements and Calf to Store/Beef

Steven is farming with his parents near Aglish in West Waterford. Steven is married with a young family.  They are farming 121 Ha of which 52 Ha is leased. The milking platform is 70 Ha. They are milking 145 cows this year and 40 replacement units. All beef calves are brought to stores for sale. The plan is to milk 180 cows and decrease the beef enterprise over time. The highest point of the farm is 600 feet above sea level. In 2019 the cows supplied 524KgMS/Hd. Steven works full time on the farm with help from his father and mother.

Challenges: Fragmented Farm and up to 600 ft above sea level

Farm Advisor: Owen Power, Teagasc, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

Signpost Farm Measures Undertaken

Protected Urea

Steven has replaced urea and all of his CAN with protected urea. Protected Urea works well throughout the whole year.

Breeding

The EBI of the herd is €182 and the young stock have an EBI of €230. The dairy herd calving interval is 367 days with a 90% six week calving rate. In 2020, the cows supplied 520 kg milk solids per head.

Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS)

Steven is spreading 100% of his slurry by contractor using a trailing shoe on the slurry tanker. Steven has also tested his slurry and this has given him the confidence to reduce chemical nitrogen.

Soil Fertility

Soil fertility is good on the home farm but pH, P and K are being improved on the leased land farmed by Steven. This will improve Steven’s use of chemical Nitrogen on the leased farm.

Extended Grazing

Steven is measuring grass on PastureBase Ireland to improve his grassland management and extend his grazing season each year.

Clover

Steven is including and managing clover in his grassland swards to reduce chemical Nitrogen spread on farm. Grassland with clover will receive less summer chemical nitrogen to encourage clover growth.

Other Actions

Steven is this year planting some multi species swards to see how they adopt to his farm and grazing by his dairy herd.