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Feed quality and genetics delivering for the winter milk herd at Johnstown

Johnstown Castle farm manager, Aidan Lawless, joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss the performance of the Winter Milk Herd.

Aidan quantifies the production performance of the winter milk herd at 630 kg MS from 7,000 litres, which is driven by a right calving season of 10 weeks, high EBI genetics and high quality base winter forage in the form of grass silage.

Aidan explains that MS have increased by approximately 10 kg year on year owing predominantly to improved genetics as grassland management and fertility performance is relatively consistent.

In relation to winter feed, the winter milk cow is generally fed 1/3 grass silage, 1/3 maize and 1/3 concentrates. Grass silage quality is fundamental to maintaining high performance at moderate concentrate input and preventing stomach upset in cows such as acidosis. To achieve 74-75 DMD silage, Aidan explains they need to cut silage in mid-May.

For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast go to the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thedairyedge 

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com