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Johnstown Castle Winter and Spring Milk Herds Update

Johnstown Castle farm manager Aidan Lawless joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge to give an update on the performance of the winter and spring milk herds.

Aidan explains that 50% of the autumn calving herd have been dried off to allow a 60 day dry period and autumn calves have produced 600 kg milk solids. A lot of these cows are still producing a high milk yield so Aidan explained they removed concentrate from the diet and offered the last grazing to reduce diet quality which reduces milk yield to 10 litres. Selective dry cow therapy has been used with good success so the farm will continue this practice for any cow consistently below 150 SCC.

An 11-week breeding season has been completed with the spring calving herd. From week 6-9, Aidan noticed a few repeats in cows bred early which indicates a missed heat or embryo loss.

Aidan also gave insights into the cumulative and current grass growth and he explains the different management of grassland swards: 100 kg N for multispecies swards and 250 kg N for perennial ryegrass swards across the grazing season.

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For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast visit the show page at https://www.teagasc.ie/animals/dairy/the-dairy-edge-podcast/