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The practical steps to overcoming issues on farms with heavier soils

Teagasc researcher Pat Tuohy joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge to give an insight into the key issues that arise on farms with heavier soils and practical steps to overcome these issues.

Pat explains that 30% of Irish soils are characterised as ‘heavy soils’ and are typically associated with drainage issues - a high water table or farms located in a high rainfall area.

Consequently, heavy soils farm have a shorter grazing season and lower grass utilisation compared with farms on lighter, free draining soils.

Pat documents  the progress made on farms that have engaged in the Teagasc Heavy Soils Programme over a 10-year period.  Average herd size increased from 80 to 105 cows, grass production increased from 8-10 tonnes to 12-13 tonnes annually and milk solids/ha increased from 850 kg to 1400 kg/year.

Additional milk solids were achieved through a combination of increase in cow numbers and stocking rate, increased grass production and increase in extended grazing season and consequently, grass utilisation.

For more information go to: https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/grassland/heavy-soils/

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