17 Aug 2022

Kilkenny farm is part of the Teagasc Monthly Monitor Farm Programme

Farmer profile: Cathal Moran, Curraghlane, Skeoughvosteen


Cathal Moran is farming in Curraghlane, Skeoughvosteen, Co. Kilkenny. He is presently milking 370-380 cows on both owned and long-term leased land.

Cathal is a participant of the Teagasc/ Glanbia Future Farm Programme and is committed to the sustainable production of milk from his farm.

This herd supplied 454kgs Milk Solids/cow, 4.46% fat and 3.76% protein to Glanbia in 2020. Cows peaked at 2 kg MS (higher than previous year) but the farm was caught with drought in June/July which also affected many famers in this area.

The future target is 500kgs MS/cow and with herd maturity Cathal is confident that this will be achieved.
The EBI of the cows is €188 and replacement heifers for 2022 are €213.

There is a 30-unit parlour and cubicles for 400 cows and slurry storage for 20 weeks in lagoons and slatted tanks.
Grass is measured weekly and over 13 tonnes of grass is grown on the farm yearly.
Stocking rate on the milking platform is 3.2 cows/Ha and overall stocking rate is 2.2LU/Ha.

Management Update
Soil Sampling – Samples were taken in December 2021.
Preparation for Calving
All calf houses/calving sheds have been washed, disinfected, and limed. The calf feeder has been serviced and milk powder delivered. Any equipment that is required is in place such as calving equipment, disinfectant, stomach tubes/feeding bottles, iodine, arm length gloves, and electrolytes/ infa-red lamp. Tags in place.
Labour: Spring staff rotas in place, making sure sufficient breaks for everyone. Review of any issues from last spring and any improvements are now in place.
Grass & Spring Fertiliser: Farm has been walked and potential paddocks for slurry have been marked when land/ weather conditions are suitable.
Protected Urea is on farm for first application of 23 units/acre on paddocks in February that have not received any slurry. These plots are recent reseeds and have excellent soil fertility status.
Other paddocks are identified for early February grazing. These paddocks have multiple access points and have covers of 800-1000kgs DM/Ha suitable for cows starting to graze. Spring Rotation planner has been completed.
Cows: IBR and lepto vaccinations all completed before Christmas.
Last years 1st calvers and this year’s heifers are currently going through the parlour every day. This helps heifers before they join the main herd.

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