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Grasslands tour for Bandon and Aherla

July 22nd, 2018 8:35 AM

By Southern Star Team

Kevin Ahern of Shinagh Dairy Farm, Bandon

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The Irish Grasslands Dairy Summer Tour will focus on high profit and high return on investment milk production when it visits two grass-based dairy farms at Shinagh Dairy Farm and Rearour, Aherla, Co. Cork. 

This event is supported by AIB Bank and takes place on Tuesday next, July 24th.  The major focus of this year’s event is achieving a high whole-farm profit and converting a leased farm to milk production to achieve a high return on investment.  Maximising the use of grazed grass in the cows’ diet will feature prominently on both farms.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Michael Bateman chairman of the tour said, ‘Since milk quota removal, commercially focused dairy farms have the opportunity to specialise in dairying and maximise the profitability and returns on their dairy farm.  

This focus continues the theme of January’s dairy conference where the twin topics of achieving a net profit of €2,500 per hectare farmed and / or a return of 15% or more on assets invested through the leasing route were highlighted.  

With this in mind, the Irish Grasslands Association invited two milk producers one farming on a mostly-owned farm and achieving a high profit per hectare farmed and the second managing a converted fully leased unit yielding a high return on the conversion investment made to host this year’s Dairy Summer Tour.’  

Kevin Ahern, farm manager at Shinagh Dairy Farm, Bandon, was invited to host the tour with a focus on achieving a high return on investment on this leased farm.  Kevin manages this 78 hectare leased farm since it was established in 2011 by the four West Cork co-ops. 

All of the land leased comprises the milking platform with the 232 strong dairy herd stocked at 3.0 cows/ha.  The farm grew an average of 17.1 tonnes dry matter per hectare in 2017.  

Conor and Josie Kelleher farm at Rearour, Aherla. They farm 57 ha, practically all of which is owned.  With an average of 142 cows grazing the farm in 2017, the milking platform stocking rate was 3.4 cows/ha.  

The farm grew over 16 tonnes of grass dry matter per hectare in 2017.  Conor’s herd produced 527 kg milk solids per cow (4.50% fat; 3.75% protein) on 830 kg meal that year.  

For further information about the event contact Maura Callery at (087) 962 6483 or visit the Irish Grasslands Association website at www.irishgrassland.com. 

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