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Grass10 Featured Farmer - Dara Killeen

Grass10 Featured Farmer - Dara Killeen

Dara Killeen farms with his wife Beatrix, father Charlie and daughter Isabella, milking 160 cows on 46 Ha. Dara completed his opening AFC last week and completed a spring grass budget on PastureBase Ireland to help him manage grass supply throught the spring.

Location: Eyrecourt, Co. Galway
Enterprise:  Dairy
2022 Milk Yield: 470 KgMS/cow 
2022 Meal Fed/Cow:
 830 kg meal /cow

Opening Average Farm Cover

Average Farm Cover (AFC): 776 KgDM/ha
Growth: 4 KgDM/ha/day
Annual Tonnage 2022: 12.6 T DM/Ha ( down 3T DM/Ha on 2021 due to severe drought)
No. Grazings/Cuts 2022: 9.3
Kg N/ha (milking platform) 2022: 212 Kg N/ha (+26 Kg N/ha organic)
No. Farm covers 2022: 42

Spring Grass Budget

My opening AFC this year was 776 kg DM/Ha. Expecting growth of 5 or 6kg DM/Ha/day for the rest of the month will mean an expected AFC of 920 Kg DM/Ha in early February. This is probably 150 Kg DM/Ha behind where I would like. 

I complete a grass budget on PBI every year in order to map out spring grazing. As i enter farm covers throughout the Spring, I can compare the plan to the actual and adjust supplement rates in order to never let my cover dip below 550 Kg DM/Ha.

I plan to graze hard throughout February and achieve 30% grazed. This is a very dry farm with good grazing infrastructure. I find it easier to have animals out of the yard grazing during February when cows are calving and I then can supplement harder in March if needed when calving is quietened down.