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Pushing the boundaries on dairy farm performance in the BMW region

Donal Patton and Barry Reilly joined Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss building robust milk production systems in the border, midlands and western region.

Barry outlined current annual performance from the Ballyhaise herd: 470 kg MS at 4.62% fat and 3.65% protein, 80-83% average 6 week calving rate and 361 day calving interval.

Donal explained that the current research involves establishing white clover into grazing swards in an effort to reduce the chemical Nitrogen required to support grass productivity. Donal says that this will examine the issue of persistence of clover in heavy clay drumlin soils.

Barry acknowledged that the strategy of front loading clover establishment at Ballyhaise is not realistic at farm level. It involved a full reseed on 25% and oversown clover on 15% of the milking platform.

Feeding levels of 600 kg or 1,200 kg are being fed per cow to compare lower reliance on feed input to the standard feeding rate in the region. The economic and environmental impact of higher feed levels will be examined across 4 lactations.

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