Matt Ryan Part 2: How dairy farmers have adapted in an effort to achieve technical excellence
In the second part of his interview, renowned agri-consultant Matt Ryan joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss practices that dairy farmers have adopted in an effort to achieve technical excellence.
Traditionally, dairy farmers had extended housing periods where cows got out to grass in April or May and in 1993, Matt travelled to New Zealand which was an eye opening experience in terms of extended grazing through use of the spring rotation planner.
Matt explains that the target at this time was to get out 1-2 weeks earlier and house 1-2 weeks later compared with previous years and in the early 90s, he estimates there was a £1 benefit per cow per day.
When milk price moved to an A+B-C system, the focus turned to improving fat and protein constituents. Protein was particularly low owing to Shorthorn and British Friesian genetics and breeding focus for predicted fat and protein %, coupled with improved fertility and grassland management, means that the average Irish farmer has a current protein of 3.5%.
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