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Excluding one sector from BEAM is ‘wrong-headed’ – IFA

Agriculture Agriland.ie

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that its National Council is “unanimous” on the need for changes to the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme.
'The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that its National Council is “unanimous” on the need for changes to the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme.The council, made up of representatives from all sectors and counties, has reiterated its support for the association’s ‘six principles’ – which state that all prime cattle should be included in the €100 million aid fund.Following the meeting of the council last Friday, July 19, Joe Healy, the association’s president, said that it was “wrong-headed and ill-judged that the minister [Michael Creed] should seek to exclude one farming sector”. It sets a dangerous precedent and it’s a very divisive move by the minister.The view of the Council is that the minister has approached this in a very dogmatic way, without any genuine consultation.According to the National Council, Minister Creed’s proposed scheme “is based on the assumption that all relevant animals in the reference period will be applied for and paid on”. “This is despite the fact that there are conditions in his draft scheme which will keep a lot of animals out,” Healy added.He warned that: “The way the Minister has designed the scheme, it is certain to result in the €100 million not being fully spent.This is wrong and Minister Creed must ensure the scheme is set up in a way that every cent of the €100 million is paid to farmers.Healy concluded his remarks by arguing that cattle from the dairy herd could be included in the scheme without pay-outs to farmers being reduced. “If the scheme was based on realistic assumptions, the minister could include all prime cattle from the dairy herd and the estimated cost of the extra animals could be covered, without any reduction in the proposed payment rates”, he said, while adding that: “The minister must also exclude all factory feedlots”. . The post Excluding one sector from BEAM is ‘wrong-headed’ – IFA appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

How is the Grange dairy calf-to-beef herd performing?

Agriculture Agriland.ie

Recently, the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef participants took part in a technical day in Teagasc Grange, Co.Meath.As part of the day, the farmers were given an insight into the dairy calf-to-beef study currently underway on the farm.
'Recently, the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef participants took part in a technical day in Teagasc Grange, Co.Meath.As part of the day, the farmers were given an insight into the dairy calf-to-beef study currently underway on the farm.Established in the spring of 2018, the objective of the trial – which is headed up by researcher Nicky Byrne and technician Donall Fahy – is to compare the physical and financial performance of progeny from both Holstein Friesian and Aberdeen Angus sires used in the dairy herd.These sires vary in breeding value for carcass weight and conformation and are managed in a grass-based system, aiming to be finished as steers under 24-months.Holstein Friesian and Aberdeen Angus sires are selected as they represent the main calf breeds coming from the national dairy herd in Ireland.Each year, there are three groups involved: Holstein Friesian calves sired by the top four EBI bulls in Ireland; high-index Aberdeen Angus calves; and low-index Aberdeen Angus calves.Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme manager Alan Dillon addressing the farmers on the day Calf purchases are made on certain criteria.All the animals must be born to Holstein Friesian dams and these cows are inseminated from March 27 up until June 25.So, calves are born from the first week of February up until the end of March.In addition, the Angus sires (AI) must have a minimum Terminal Index reliability of 60%. And, crucially, all sires must have a calving difficulty of 3.5% or less. “We also will be establishing production parameters for this type of system going forward,” researcher Nicky Byrne said. “When the last blueprint was drawn up for calf-to-beef, we probably had a different type of dairy cow in the country.” Researcher Nicky Byrne and dedicated programme advisor Sean Cummins and programme manager Alan Dillon Each farmlet is stocked at 2.7 LU/ha, consisting of calves (zero-12 months) and yearlings (12-to-24 months). Other measurements during the trial  include: the live weight; grazing efficiency; winter-feed intake; linear measurements; and slaughter performance of each genotype.Furthermore, all inputs into each system are fully costed and measured to determine the contribution of each genotype to farm profit.Calf sourcing and rearing The calves are purchased by Donall Fahy based on age and health (not hand picked), and arrive on-farm at 21 days-of-age, weighing 53-54kg live weight.Electrolytes are fed on arrival to rehydrate the calves and clean out the calves’ system.They are then allowed to settle for 24 hours before being vaccinated – intranasally – for IBR and pneumonia. “This proves to be very important when you are mixing a large amount of calves from 50-60 different herds,” Nicky explained.Sire breeding value for 2019 High and Low-Index Aberdeen Angus calves “When we are mixing all these calves, there is a high-stress environment; we want to get a rapid response so we are going intranasally; booster vaccinations are administrated one month after.” The calves are allowed to further settle for a 10-day period and assigned onto one of two different milk feeding treatments. “We start them off on 6L/day and we either bring the calves up or down on to 8L/day or 4L/day.We are looking to assess the effect of this milk feeding treatment on calf performance, the performance at grass and the overall lifetime performance of the progeny. “What we can see so far is that you won’t pick out those calves from either treatments,” Nicky added.Sire breeding value for 2019 Holstein Friesian calves While the calves are offered two different milk feeding levels (twice-a-day (TAD) feeding), they all have access to ad-lib concentrate.The calves are individually stall fed, as individual calf intake is measured; everything is weighed-in and weighed-out.Some 145 spring-born calves were purchased in 2019; two calves were lost within 24 hours of arrival due to ruptured stomach ulcers, resulting in a mortality rate of 1.5%. In terms of calf price, the 2018 High and Low-Index Aberdeen Angus calves were purchased for €280/head; however, the 2019 High and Low-Index Aberdeen Angus calves were purchased for €100/head cheaper at €180/head.The 2018 Holstein Friesian calves were purchased for €120/head, while the 2019 batch was purchased for €80-85/head. “Because we have a milk feeding trial on-going, we need weaning criteria,” Nicky explained. “So typically, we like to see a calf that is greater than eight weeks old, eating more than 1kg/day for four consecutive days and weighing 85kg. “However, we found that hard to achieve with the calves receiving 8L/day until we started weaning them; they didn’t go past 1kg/day, but they were eating concentrate and were well accustomed to it.Calf performance and milk feeding level: June 13, 2019 “We weigh calves on a weekly basis during the rearing period and once calves hit 85kg, they are weaned over a five or six-day period depending on their level of milk feeding,” he added.Calves are then turned out to pasture and they are fed concentrate for three weeks post turnout; they then move on in their grazing group on a grass-only diet.Yearlings The 2018/2019 winter period was relatively short on the farm.The cattle were housed for 82 days and turnout was achieved on February 12.Nicky outlined that an early turnout in a calf-to-beef system is crucial. “In calf-to-beef, if you don’t start grazing early in the spring, you are going to be up against it because you start off with a low demand. “If you delay turnout until the middle of March, you will be under a lot of pressure to have the first rotation completed and get your silage ground grazed-off, and it will hit in terms of sward quality later on in the year.” Due to poor weather and ground conditions under-foot, all of the groups were re-housed for just over two weeks in March, which subsequently delayed the first grazing rotation.And, as a result, the remaining area of the first rotation was cut as surplus bales in early April.Yearling performance for second grazing season up to June 20, 2019 Commenting on the grazing strategy, Nicky said: “We are really strict on our grazing residuals.We graze to 3.5cm for the first grazing rotation and that has stood to the swards in terms is sward quality.” Due to the growing demand of the herd across the grazing system, and the need for high-quality silage, 56% of each farmlet was closed for first-cut silage. “All the paddocks with the exception of some were grazed and we had a staggered first cut.The first of it was cut on May 14 (paddocks that weren’t grazed) and we got an average yield of 5.3t DM/ha from that. “There was only 100kg DM/ha of a difference between the paddocks that were grazed on February 12 and those that weren’t grazed at all.However, where the paddocks were grazed, the regrowths were green at the base and will result in high-quality, leafy silage.” After the weather improved again, the remaining first-cut silage was harvested and this yielded 8t DM/ha.However, due to the heavier cover, grass regrowth was slow.Grass is allocated in 48-hour blocks and every group of yearlings graze down to a residual of 4cm.Before cattle enter a paddock, two strips – 10m long – are cut; this is weighed and dry matter (DM) and nutritive value analysis is carried out.Each farmlet consists of 17 paddocks across a heavy clay soil type.A large proportion of the farm was drained and reseeded this year.Interest Commenting on the study, Nicky said: “We are getting a lot of interest from the dairy side on this trial; they need a viable calf-to-beef sector. “One of the big things that is under-pinning the social licence of dairy production is the calf.Also, labour is a big constraint on farm.Dairy farmers need to get calves on the ground relatively easy with no hassle and get the calf off the farm.Drained and reseeded paddocks on the farm “So, if a farmer wants to get calves moved he/she shouldn’t mind the few extra questions about the genetics and management.There’s a lot more focus on the bulls that are used on the dairy herd this year.” Technician Donall Fahy added: “If farmers can build up a good relationship with dairy farmers; that they know this farmer will come back and buy calves again next year – that’s what needs to be done.” . The post How is the Grange dairy calf-to-beef herd performing? appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

‘Getting those much needed energy concepts out into the greater world’

Agriculture Agriland.ie

What the Energy in Agriculture conference and exhibition is aiming for is to arm farmers with as much knowledge as possible about bio-energy supply-chain opportunities so that they, in turn, can make the important individual choices for themselves
'What the Energy in Agriculture conference and exhibition is aiming for is to arm farmers with as much knowledge as possible about bio-energy supply-chain opportunities so that they, in turn, can make the important individual choices for themselves and increase profitability on the farm.These were the sentiments expressed by Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency, who spoke to AgriLand  following the launch of the fourth Energy in Agriculture event on the farm of Michéal Looney in Macroom, Co.Cork, on Thursday, July 18.Energy in Agriculture was launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.Meanwhile, the event takes place on Tuesday, August 20, at Gurteen Agriculture College – it is a joint initiative between Teagasc, Tipperary County Council, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tipperary Energy Agency and Gurteen Agricultural College. ‘Armed and ready’ Meanwhile, Kenny pointed to last year’s attendance which came in at around 3,000 and highlighted the opportunities the enormous gathering of farmers gave organisers “to get those much needed concepts out into the greater world”. All of this is about education – it’s education for me as well because I’m learning a lot about agriculture through this process.He continued: “I’m not from an agricultural background and so there is a lot I need to learn too – everyone is learning in all of this. “What we want for farmers is to help them make the best choices for the type of land and set-up that they have.” Kenny then pointed to marginal land and how it can be used as a bio-energy source.He also highlighted the importance of farmers being able to make “informed decisions” within the whole area.If you look at marginal land and for example, trees – they grow very fast on marginal land – as do rotation forests and crops like willow, etc.He added: “So, if someone comes to a farmer and says we have some customers for bio-energy would you be interested in supplying, the idea is that the farmer would know exactly want he can and needs to do in an effort to meet expectation and demand. “If that farmer happens to have some marginal land that can be utilised to achieve this, well then, armed with the knowledge to determine whether or not he needs to look into the matter further – anything is possible.If he realises that he requires more information or further supports to bring the idea to fruition and he is able to access all of that then a lot has been achieved. “The concept is no longer alien – all of this is really important.” . The post ‘Getting those much needed energy concepts out into the greater world’ appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Want to generate a little extra profit for your dairy farm?

Agriculture Agriland.ie

Last week, on Thursday, July 11 – during one of the Farm Relief Services’ (FRS) Smarter Milking events – Teagasc’s Micheal Breen gave a talk on how dairy farms can reduce their energy use while saving money.He said: “For the average Irish dairy farm
'Last week, on Thursday, July 11 – during one of the Farm Relief Services’ (FRS) Smarter Milking events – Teagasc’s Micheal Breen gave a talk on how dairy farms can reduce their energy use while saving money.He said: “For the average Irish dairy farm the electricity costs are about €5/1,000L of milk sold.However, the range is from about €2.60 to €8.70. “To check this on your own farm, take your electricity bills from the last six months or year and then look at how much milk you produced in this period and divide one by the other. “If your farm is at the lower end of that range, there is not much you can do to reduce your electricity costs; but, if you’re at the higher end there are a few things you can do to reduce your costs.” To find out where the greatest areas of energy use are on farms, they monitored 60 dairy farms – of different sizes – over the course of five years.The areas which required the greatest amount of energy can be seen above.Reducing energy consumption Micheal explained that there is “no one size fits all to cutting energy use on farms”. For this reason, Teagasc, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Cork Institute of Technology “developed a website where you can go on, enter your farm details and you can then check whether or not a certain technology will be financially favorable to your farm”. Options to reduce energy consumption: Change to the cheapest supplier; Use night rate electricity – water heating and morning milking; Install a plate cooler; Install a variable speed pump; Heat recovery – install when upgrading a bulk tank; Consider solar PV if eligible for grant.Touching on the plate cooler option, he said: “This is the main way you can reduce your electricity costs when cooling milk. “With the plate cooler they generally pay back in three years or less.But, for it to be operating efficiently you want a 2:1 water to milk ratio.” In terms of the milk tank, Micheal said: “Based on our research, if you were upgrading or installing a milk cooling system we would recommend a direct expansion (DX) system with plate cooling.” If you were to install a new water heating system tomorrow, Micheal recommended installing an electric heating element; so that you can use night rate electricity when heating water. “If you have a night rate electricity meter or even if you don’t, they are free to install if you contact your electricity supplier.With the meter, the electricity costs between midnight and 9:00am are about half the price of electricity during the day,” explained Micheal.Solar PV panals Finally, Micheal explained how solar PV panels can be used to reduce electricity costs on farms. “Solar PV is topical at the minute because there was a grant for it in the most recent round of Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS). The solar PV panels produce electricity which can be used anywhere on the farm. “The only issue with these is, if you produce more electricity than you need it goes to waste and you can’t send it back into the grid.We are the only country in Europe that doesn’t allow you to,” he added. . The post Want to generate a little extra profit for your dairy farm? appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Department employee to participate in World Transplant Games

Agriculture Agriland.ie

An Athlone man who works in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will participate in the British Transplant Games in Newport, Wales, next week, ahead of the World Transplant Games which will take place in Newcastle, Gateshead, in the
'An Athlone man who works in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will participate in the British Transplant Games in Newport, Wales, next week, ahead of the World Transplant Games which will take place in Newcastle, Gateshead, in the UK next month.Noel Marsden who works in the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) section in Portlaoise, received a kidney transplant in 2017.Noel will be competing at this year’s World Transplant Games in the 30-39 years age category in the following events: Pétanque doubles, partnering with Jerome Lyness; Swimming: 100m freestyle; Swimming: backstroke 50m; Swimming: breaststroke 100m; Badminton: doubles, partnering with Tommy Marrett.Noel has previously participated in the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Finland in 2016 where he got a medal for swimming, and the British Games in 2017, while still on dialysis.This will be his first World Transplant Games.I found the championships in Finland inspirational.To hear people’s stories and see them healthy and happy while I was still on dialysis, was inspirational.It was great for me to see what I would be able to do. “Before my transplant, I could barely walk and I couldn’t sleep properly.I had no energy and was on dialysis three nights a week.Now I use that time for swimming which gets me meeting new people.I have more quality time to spend with family and friends.Consider organ donation “I’m very grateful to my deceased donor and their family and all donors and would ask people to consider organ donation and letting their loved ones know of their wishes.I probably wouldn’t be alive now only for my donor.” The proud dad of seven-year-old Ava enjoys most sports especially swimming, rugby and soccer, and is a big Connaught and Aston Villa fan. “I am excited to be attending my first games since my transplant, and hoping to do my kidney donor proud.I’m motivated to prove organ donation works by beating my own swimming PBs (personal bests) and to encourage more people to join Transplant Team Ireland in Dublin next year for the European games.A total of 38 people are on the Irish transplant team.Ranging in age from 16 to 81, the team of 29 men and nine women have all undergone organ transplants including one heart; one lung; four liver; one bone marrow; and 31 kidney. . The post Department employee to participate in World Transplant Games appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Tillage focus: Harvesting barley on a farm converting to direct drilling in Co. Kilkenny

Agriculture Agriland.ie

Young tillage farmers are scarce on the ground, but the small group that are out there are progressive.Eoin Lyons was harvesting winter barley on the ground he has rented a short distance from his home in Lisdowney, Co.Kilkenny, when AgriLand
'Young tillage farmers are scarce on the ground, but the small group that are out there are progressive.Eoin Lyons was harvesting winter barley on the ground he has rented a short distance from his home in Lisdowney, Co.Kilkenny, when AgriLand visited last Monday, July 15.The crop, which was being delivered to Holland’s in Ballyragget, was coming in at 17% moisture and was the first to be cut on the farm.The Bazooka in the field next door was another week away.It’s Eoin’s second year in the lease and it’s also the second year he has been driving the combine he purchased.Eoin also cuts barley for his father, Brian, who he shares machinery with.The Tower winter barley being cut was sown following the plough; however, Eoin is in the midst of converting the farm to direct drill. “I bought the direct drill last autumn, so I’m introducing it before break crops,” Eoin explained.It will be about three or four years before the whole farm is in direct drill – once the breaks come around in the rotation. 25% of the farm is in a break crop every year.Eoin’s rotation includes winter oilseed rape or spring beans – depending on the field and soil type.This crop is followed by winter barley, winter oats and two crops of winter barley.This rotation also allows for seed crops to be grown and increase the price paid for the grain.Eoin grows seed oilseed rape for Seedtech and sometimes grows winter barley seed. “Anywhere I can, I try and grow a seed crop,” he commented.Why move to direct drill?When asked why he moved to the direct drill Eoin gave three main reasons – to improve the soil, save time and increase margin.I’ve cut down on ploughing, tilling, rolling, herbicide and insecticide.The Kilkenny man also works off the farm and so time is precious.Investing in the direct drill cuts out ploughing, tilling and rolling.This saves a huge amount of time. “The field beside us with the Bazooka was in oilseed rape last year.The rape was cut and the volunteers were allowed to grow.It was sprayed off [with glyphosate] the day before sowing. “I sowed into the volunteers and no herbicide was applied after this.” Cover crops are essential in a direct-drill system Eoin commented that cover crops are a must when working in a direct drill system to keep the soil aerated and loose.They also add benefits such as protecting the soil from erosion and helping to increase soil organic matter. “There’ll be a cover crop planted here in August.Oats and vetch, before spring beans are planted next season.” He added that he doesn’t have any oats this year – he sometimes grows equine oats for Connolly’s Red Mills.However, he did grow a headland of oats to produce seed for cover crops. “I don’t actually have a crop of oats, but I took a headland on a spring barley field where we had westerwolds last year.I just put in a headland of oats.” Hybrid barley Eoin looks after all of the agronomy on the farm himself and while Eoin was cutting a two-row winter barley variety, which got two fungicide applications, he also has some hybrids.He grew a small area of hybrid barley two years ago and now that he has some experience with the crop he thinks he will make the change over. “Looking at it now I’d say it will be all hybrids next year.They’re easier managed and there’s less disease pressure.There looks to be better potential in them.” . The post Tillage focus: Harvesting barley on a farm converting to direct drilling in Co.Kilkenny appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Pics: Latest entries in our Harvest Competition

Agriculture Agriland.ie

There was an increase in the number of combines hitting the fields at the end of this week.Thursday, July 18, saw the harvest move up the country, but the work was short-lived as rain came in overnight and halted progress on Friday.
'There was an increase in the number of combines hitting the fields at the end of this week.Thursday, July 18, saw the harvest move up the country, but the work was short-lived as rain came in overnight and halted progress on Friday.AgriLand readers have been busy sending in their harvest pictures and the break in the weather might provide time for some people to get theirs emailed in.Check out how to enter below.Farm Safety week is drawing to a close, but safety should always be top of the list of priorities on farms.When taking your photographs, be aware of the dangers around you.Check out some of these images (below) to get an overview of the photographs we’ve been receiving at AgriLand headquarters.The main/featured image (above) was sent in by Paddy Geoghan and features John Morrisson cutting Pixel winter barley.John can also be seen cutting in his Claas Lexion 670 in these pictures (below). John’s grain was destined for Pat Denn Agriculture in Cappoquinn and was coming in at a moisture content of 15% on Thursday, July 18.David Moloney sent in this shot (below). It first depicts Tom Prendergast cutting at Shanballyduff, Cashel, with a New Holland CX8070.In these further images (below), David caught two combines working at New Inn, Co.Tipperary.The barley was destined for Brett Brothers in Windgap.This New Holland CX8060 was side-filling into a triple-axle Pronar chaser-bin.Working in the same field was this John Deere T550 (below). When David was on his travels he also spotted this field of winter barley (below) still to be cut; the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey are clearly visible in the background.How to enter You can email your pictures to:  siobhan@agriland.ie ; alternatively, you can tag @AgrilandIreland  on Twitter and Facebook . Don’t forget to let us know what part of the country you’re in and when the shot was taken.You can also add #Harvest2019 if you want to share your shots with the wider  Twitter  community, but make sure to tag  @AgrilandIreland  so we can see them. . The post Pics: Latest entries in our Harvest Competition appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Grain price: EU harvest looking good; no enthusiasm in the market

Agriculture Agriland.ie

It will come as no surprise that wheat production is set to increase from last year in Europe and the Baltic regions.The drought of last season resulted in a significant drop in European grain yields.
'It will come as no surprise that wheat production is set to increase from last year in Europe and the Baltic regions.The drought of last season resulted in a significant drop in European grain yields.It was expected that drought conditions in June of this year would decrease promising yields, but at present that damage looks to be curtailed.According to Reuters, France is forecast to produce approximately 38 million tonnes of wheat, while the German wheat harvest is expected to increase by almost 18% to 23.85 million tonnes.To see AgriLand ‘s latest harvest update click here Other countries such as Sweden and Lithuania are also predicting significant increases in production.Across the water in the UK, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has been busy on a crop tour to the different production regions, and yields in general are expected to be high.Wheat prices did not stray from their recent range with a lack of news in the market.Keeping an eye on maize In the US, ethanol producers are coming under pressure as a result of higher maize prices.A reduction in ethanol production from maize would leave more maize on the market and could result in a reduction in maize price.Low maize prices did not bode well for Irish farmers last season, as barley and wheat could not compete.FOB Creil The positive harvest on the continent is having an effect on the Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil price.On Tuesday, July 16, of this week, it drifted below €170/t to €169/t.By Thursday it was at €167/t.The average of the Planet FOB Creil price (from April 10 to September 18), which will settle Boortmalt’s harvest price here in Ireland, is now at €182.47/t.Another nine weeks remain in the averaging model which peaked at €191/t in April.Grain markets . The post Grain price: EU harvest looking good; no enthusiasm in the market appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Dairy focus: Olympian turned dairy farmer in Co. Waterford

Agriculture Agriland.ie

Olympic walker Jamie Costin has swapped the runners for the wellies after returning home and taking over the family dairy farm in Ring, in Co.Waterford.Back in 2012, after failing to make the team for the London Olympics, Jamie decided it was time
'Olympic walker Jamie Costin has swapped the runners for the wellies after returning home and taking over the family dairy farm in Ring, in Co.Waterford.Back in 2012, after failing to make the team for the London Olympics, Jamie decided it was time for him to retire and came back home to take the reins over from his father, Jim.In 2015, the farm entered expansion mode and since then cow numbers have increased from 150 cows to today milking 360 cows with the land base also growing from 45ha to a milking platform of 145ha today.Jamie not only retired from walking in the Olympics, but he has also recently retired from walking up and down their 24-unit herringbone parlour.Just last month, a 54-bale Waikato rotary parlour was installed on the farm.Previously, the milking was taking over three hours every morning and evening to complete, but they can now comfortably complete the milking in an hour tops.Infrastructure While cow numbers have been increasing over the years, the farm’s infrastructure has been a working progress for Jamie. “I wanted to make sure I had all my research done and was ready before I started investing in the farmyard. “I thought about expanding the existing parlour; but, I wanted one person to be able to milk the cows by themselves. “So, I began researching rotaries.I felt the only way I was going to learn about rotaries was to go and milk in them myself. “As soon as I was finished milking here in the morning, I would go off to a farm that had one.The efficiency of the rotary parlour was what impressed me most; in under an hour 300 cows could be milked and on their way back to their paddock,” explained Jamie.Explaining a further reason for choosing a rotary, he said: “I wanted a simple system, so that if you had someone working for you they can walk in at any stage and easily milk the cows by themselves.” The new parlour includes automatic teat sprayers, automatic cluster removers (ACRs), feeders and retention bars.The parlour also has an automatic drafting system, a collecting yard flood-wash system along with a 30,000L milk tank.The collecting yard to the back of the parlour is capable of holding 450 cows.Touching on the movement from the herringbone to the rotary, he said: “The first morning they bet us; as in it took four hours to milk 180 cows. “Although that evening we milked them all in three hours, the following morning in two hours and by the fourth milking we were down to an hour and half.” Along with the construction of the rotary an additional 300-topless cubicles – leading into a new 250,000 gallon concrete lagoon – are being installed next to the existing 120-indoor cubicles. “The reason we went with the concrete lagoon was because where the cubicles are now, we knew we were going to hit rock and it was working out as the cheapest option by far when I went looking,” he added.Cow type The herd is a relatively young herd due to the expansion of the herd over the last few years.The average lactation number of the herd is 2.7 lactations.Last year, the herd  produced 411kg of MS/cow – at an average fat of 4.6% and protein of 3.9%. It is made up of predominately crossbred cows with an average EBI of €163.Jamie’s criteria for his cows is simple. “I am chasing an animal that can do all this walking, produce kilograms of milk solids and go in calf every year.The most efficient cow I have is only 480kg and has been continuously producing over 600kg of MS for the last five years. “We have been weighing the cows for the last three or four year as part of my discussion group.Basically, we look at the weight to kilogram of milk solid ratio. “I have a cow there that is 450kg doing 560kg of milk solids for the last four or five years; so she is producing 1.2kg of milk solids for every kilogram of body weight. “Last year, our average body weight was 508kg; I suppose I would like to get down to 480kg.The ideal situation would be to produce 500kg of MS from 500kg of meal with a cow this size,” explained Jamie.Breeding This year’s breeding season has gone very well for Jamie.More than 90% of the cows were submitted in the first three-weeks of AI and he expects conception rates will be high.Touching on his breeding strategy, he said: “We do voluntary culling of the worst cows before we start breeding.I give them three lactations and then anything that is 10% lower than the herd average has to go.That way you’re only breeding off your best cows.It has worked for us because we have gone from 287kg of MS/cow to 411kg of MS/cow last year – feeding on average 250kg of meal/cow. “Once the herd matures I don’t see why we couldn’t get this up to 450kg of MS/cow,” he added.Continuing, he said: “We do nine weeks and six days of AI and then the bulls are let out.My contract rearer is my AI technician so he takes care of breeding all my heifers.Last year, we had an 81% conception rate to first service on the heifers. “When I’m selecting bulls all the big cows get Jersey and then everything else gets daughter proven kiwi cross.I used to chase EBI but I have gone away from it now.” Grassland management The inclusion of grass in his herd’s diet is hugely important to Jamie and he strives to achieve the maximum number of days at grass that he can. “Grass growth this year couldn’t have been better; we have been getting rain just at the right time, every time,” said Jamie. “We begin calving on February 1 and they go straight out to grass.When I came home the first thing I focused on was making the whole farm easily accessible to graze. “I began investing in farm roadways because some of the paddocks were very difficult to access. “I swapped land with one farmer and made a roadway through the land.Before, we would have had to walk around the road and it would have taken a lot longer,” explained Jamie.The new rotary is at the centre of the farm with farm roadways going a mile in three different directions. “We are stocked at 2.5cows/ha over the whole grazing platform.What you see here is what we have – we don’t have any outside blocks. “The first few years after I came back I was kind of naive and I would just taken one big cut of silage in May or June.Until a buddy of mine asked ‘are you not taking a bit of a risk?’: so ever since then I split the silage into two cuts. “Now, I take 90ac on May 20 and another 150ac on June 10.The silage fields are grazed once in the spring and then cut in May and then everything cut in June would have been grazed twice,” concluded Jamie. . The post Dairy focus: Olympian turned dairy farmer in Co.Waterford appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Creed launches ‘Energy in Agriculture’ exhibition

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The fourth Energy in Agriculture Conference and Exhibition was launched yesterday, Thursday, July 18, by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.The conference will take place on Tuesday, August 20 at Gurteen Agricultural
'The fourth Energy in Agriculture Conference and Exhibition was launched yesterday, Thursday, July 18, by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.The conference will take place on Tuesday, August 20 at Gurteen Agricultural College, while yesterday’s launch took place at the farm of Michéal Looney in Macroom, Co.Cork.The conference and exhibition is a joint venture between: Teagasc; Tipperary County Council; the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA); Tipperary Energy Agency; and Gurteen Agricultural College.The events main sponsor is the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). We need to improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels. “At individual farm level, my department is committed, through TAMS [Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme] to support investment in renewable energy that will reduce the high cost of energy inputs,” said Minister Creed, speaking at the launch.Such a move can also “provide an additional source of income for the business”, the minister argued. “Energy in Agriculture is an extremely valuable event in creating such awareness of the benefits of renewable technologies in your business and the contacts and links made here will help you develop your business in the future,” he added.Meanwhile, Teagasc energy and and rural development specialist Barry Caslin explained that: “The next few years will see a dramatic uptake in renewable energy generation on farms.” “I am confident that renewable energy opportunities driven by a policy framework will open new opportunities in Irish agriculture,” added Caslin.Also in attendance at the launch was Tom Short, the IFA’s Renewable Committee chairman, who argued that renewables based on farms and communities “must be the central part of future energy policy in Ireland.” “Long-term government investment in proven technologies, including solar PV, anaerobic digestion and microgeneration is required,” he added.Speakers at the August conference will give insights on “real opportunities” to make financial savings and reduce energy consumption on the farm, according to Teagasc.Outdoor demonstrations will also be a feature of the event.The conference is free to attend, and farmers will receive advice on renewable energy project development, as well as hearing from those who have been successful in incorporating renewable energy on their farms. . The post Creed launches ‘Energy in Agriculture’ exhibition appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Live export ban in place from tomorrow

Agriculture Agriland.ie

A temporary live export ban has been issued by the Department of Agriculture,  Food and the Marine for tomorrow, Saturday, July 20.
'A temporary live export ban has been issued by the Department of Agriculture,  Food and the Marine for tomorrow, Saturday, July 20.In a statement issued by the department, it was noted: In view of the forecasts of another severe heatwave, road transport of live ruminants to/through continental Europe is prohibited as and from tomorrow morning, Saturday July 20. 2019, until further notice.This follows on from a similar ban that was imposed last month due to soaring temperatures on the continent.The ban lasted a number of days before being lifted.As in previous years there is a total ban for the months of July and August on the endorsement of Journey Logs for consignments of live animals by road transport to North Africa, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Croatia.This ban is enforced by the Veterinary Inspector at the Assembly Centre.This list may be updated on the department’s website as needed, according to the authority.N&P statements now available Interim nitrogen and phosphorus statements (N&P statements) for the period January to May 2019 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s online system: www.agfood.ie, the department has announced.These statements are particularly useful to allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the nitrates regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching limits, according to the authority.The limit for farmers is 170kg/ha of N, while the limit for those who hold an approved derogation is 250kg/ha, the department reiterated.Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto: www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘register’ button. . The post Live export ban in place from tomorrow appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Department publishes N&P statements up to May 2019

Agriculture Agriland.ie

Interim nitrogen and phosphorus statements (N&P statements) for the period January to May 2019 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s online system www.agfood.ie, the department has announced.
'Interim nitrogen and phosphorus statements (N&P statements) for the period January to May 2019 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s online system www.agfood.ie, the department has announced.These statements are particularly useful to allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the nitrates regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching limits, according to the authority.The limit for farmers is 170kg/ha of nitrogen, while the limit for those who hold an approved derogation is 250kg/ha, the department reiterated.Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘register’ button.Nitrates review ‘crunch time’ Meanwhile, on a related note, Government has been called on by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to ensure that the soon-to-be-published recommendations from the nitrates derogation review support the sustainable development of the sector . Urging the Government, IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney said: “The recommendations of the expert group established by the Department of Agriculture cannot be just about more restrictions. “The IFA has presented a robust package of proposals as part of a Sustainability Development Programme which must be supported by Government.” The chairman outlined the IFA’s proposals, which include: Retention of the nitrates derogation for the cohort of farmers who contribute over €900 million in agricultural output each year, in every county; No additional obligations on lower-stocked farms; Extension of the accelerated capital allowance relief for the purchase of low emissions slurry spreading equipment; Co-ordination of Government departments and state agencies to deliver farm-scale renewables and other measures in Teagasc’s climate roadmap; and Supports for greater use of protected urea, lime, slurry additives and soil aeration. “Farming is playing its part when it comes to environmental action,” Cooney said. . The post Department publishes N&P statements up to May 2019 appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Farm Safety Live to return to Tullamore Show 2019

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The sixth annual Farm Safety Live event will be brought to the Tullamore Show on Sunday, August 11, in a joint move by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), FBD and FRS Training.
'The sixth annual Farm Safety Live event will be brought to the Tullamore Show on Sunday, August 11, in a joint move by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), FBD and FRS Training.The whole initiative behind ‘Farm Safety Live’ is to get people to pledge to make a change on their farms after attending the event, according to the organisers.Aiming to bring something different each year, this year’s live and interactive demonstrations seek to make changes on the farm, in the areas of vehicle safety, machinery safety, livestock safety and safety when working at heights.FRS, FBD Insurance and the HSA along with the Tullamore Show want people to make a pledge to: change the way they approach machinery; change the way they handle their livestock; change how they deal with working at heights; and commit to make changes and introduce safety measures on their farms.The farming sector is still recording the most fatalities each year in Ireland.Overall fatality statistics have not been improving, with most accidents occurring from machinery, tractors, vehicles and livestock, and with the young and elderly proving to be the main victims.Pat Griffin, safety inspector with the HSA, said: “Tractors, quads and other vehicles are involved in the vast majority of farm fatalities.If your tractor is not right, nothing’s right.A good handbrake on your tractor is so important and I ask all farmers to pledge to ensure the handbrake is working and it is properly applied. “Working together we can make farming a safer business and protect ourselves and our loved ones,” he said.Jim Dockery, of FRS Training, added: “We use practical demonstrations to show there is always a better way to do the task in hand safer.The safe handling of livestock commands excellent facilities.We are demonstrating how these livestock safety designs can be incorporated into your farm facilities. “We demonstrate how to handle quad bikes and farm machinery safely and correctly. “We know farmers love to see thing in motion and visualise how they work, this sticks in the mind better and results in better understanding and more likely to make that pledge to take action and farm safer.” Ciaran Roche, Risk Manager, FBD Insurance, said, “Now is the time to challenge ourselves to work more safely and to stop taking risks.All stakeholders need to work together as a farming community to break the cycle of risk-taking behaviour. “If we can create a positive safety culture on farms, behavioural change and safer farming practices will follow,” he said.Brenda Kiernan, chairperson of Tullamore Show, said: “We were delighted to facilitate such a vital and significant agenda as part of the show programme.” . The post Farm Safety Live to return to Tullamore Show 2019 appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Herdwatch to offer free services to 39,000 suckler farmers

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'Herdwatch has announced it is to extend its services for free to 39,000 suckler farmers around the country, “in response to the difficult market conditions being experienced by the Irish beef and suckler farming community”. Under the new plan, all beef or suckler farmers with 10 cows or less can use the app without incurring any cost.This new plan will apply to over 53% of Ireland’s 73,000 suckler farmers.They will now be able to use the Herdwatch app to register calves, record remedy and feed purchases and send weights for the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme.According to the firm, Herdwatch has implemented these changes to help Irish suckler farmers in response to the rising costs, volatile prices and increased compliance requirements they are facing in the market.The threats posed to the suckler farming community by both Brexit and Mercosur were also factored into the decision.Speaking about the new plan, Fabien Peyaud, CEO and co-founder of Herdwatch, said: “We are very conscious of how difficult the market conditions have become for Irish beef and suckler farmers in recent times.Not only have they the major threats of Brexit and Mercosur to contend with, they also have to worry about rising costs, extra administrative burdens and unpredictable prices. “At Herdwatch we see ourselves as part of the Irish farming community and we wanted to do something to help. “We know that some farmers will struggle to justify investment in farm technology because of the current market conditions. “For that reason, we are making these changes to our service.Farmers with 10 cows or less will now benefit for free from the ability to record and view farm information on the spot.Peyaud said that, through the app, farmers can spend less time on paperwork  and more time on decision making and staying on top of their farm businesses. “According to data from the Department of Agriculture and Food, that means that more than half of the Irish suckler farming community will benefit, representing 39,000 farmers who can make use of the app without cost.” The CEO noted that, to get started on Herdwatch, a farmer downloads the app and puts in his/her herd number. “We hope that this will provide some aid to the Irish beef farming community over this difficult period,” Peyaud concluded. . The post Herdwatch to offer free services to 39,000 suckler farmers appeared first on Agriland.ie .'