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Deise 1250 Dairy Discussion Group Open Day

The Deise 1250 dairy discussion group hosted an open day on the farm of Liam and Matthew Budds, Summerhill, Kinsalebeg, Co. Waterford today, Thursday, 8 September. The group are the national winners of the ACCBank EBI dairy discussion group competition which is sponsored by ACCBank and organised jointly by Teagasc, ICBF and the Farmers Journal.

The Deise 1250 group were formed 4 years ago, have 17 members and set a target of producing 1,250 kilograms of milk solids per hectare. With the assistance of Teagasc dairy business and technology advisers Brian Hilliard and Owen Power, the group are currently averaging 1,000 kgs milk solids per hectare.

This level of performance is achieved through a high level of grass utilisation of 10.3 tonnes dry matter per hectare, which is 30 per cent higher than the national average. The farmers in the group also focus on the fertility component of EBI to improve the fertility of their herds, and are breeding high quality surplus replacement stock.

Speaking at the open day, ACCBank representative in Waterford, Mark Bourke said; “the open day presents an opportunity to witness the excellent achievements of the Deise 1250 dairy discussion group. This year’s competition winners have shown us what can be achieved in the areas of breeding, grassland management and financial management.”

Head of knowledge transfer, dairying, in Teagasc, Tom O’ Dwyer, complimented the Deise 1250 group on their outstanding achievement. He said;” EBI really works for this group. An analysis of the performance of group members’ cows shows that those cows with higher EBI have both higher milk production and fertility. The better fertility is resulting in more cows lasting in the herd for longer. ”

The ACCBank EBI competition attracted almost 3,000 dairy farmers participating in 200 dairy discussion groups. The ‘established groups’ section was hotly contested by some of the country’s leading dairy discussion groups, but the Deise 1250 group, chaired by Owen Hallahan and composed entirely of Waterford dairy farmers, emerged as national winners. The group are previous regional winners of the competition.