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How to achieve target performance through simple, proven technologies

Dairy farmer Dara Killeen and specialist Patrick Gowing joined Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge to discuss the targets set out in the Teagasc Dairy Roadmap and consider the targets achievable at farm level.

Recorded as part of the 2020 Teagasc Virtual Dairy Conference, Dara, who is a new entrant to dairy farming since spring 2019, explained his priority investments were in high genetic merit crossbred stock, reseeding, grazing infrastructure and milking facilities.

Dara viewed a lot of stock before settling on the heifers he purchased for his first year in milk and it was a rewarding decision evident from his young herd (40% heifers, 60% lactation 2) with a 90% 6 week calving rate and producing the industry average ~420 kg MS from 650 kg concentrate and 280-290 days at grass, with an estimated mature MS production of 500 kg.

Patrick suggests that this performance isn’t surprising because Dara demonstrated huge attention to detail throughout the planning of his conversion to dairy and invested his time and money in the correct areas.

Dara is in a phase of growing the age of the herd whilst also ensuring that the farm remains socially sustainable through establishing a good routine and employing part-time staff as well as environmentally sustainable through engaging with technologies such as EBI, protected Urea, LESS and maintaining the biodiversity that exists on farm.

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