CAFRE Dairy Open Days

The 200 cow CAFRE Dairy Herd is used in the education and training of full and part-time students in practical dairy herd husbandry and management skills. The key areas include milking routine, feeding, cow health and analysing herd physical and financial performance. The Dairy Herd is also used to demonstrate best management practice to dairy farmers, through a series of Knowledge Transfer projects.

Current performance of the herd against key performance indicators (KPIs) is as follows:

Milk yield:                          8,777 litres per cow per year

Milk solids yield:               658 kg per cow per year

Concentrate feed use:       2,729 kg per cow per year

Milk from forage:               2,712 litres per cow

Margin over concentrate:   £1,863 per cow per year

The milking cows are currently being fed in three groups to achieve good feed efficiency. The herd is split into fresh calved cows and heifers, high yielders and late lactation cows. The diet for the fresh calved and high yield cows includes first and second cut silage plus maize silage and dairy blend. Late lactation cows are being fed on second cut silage plus in parlour concentrates to yield.

Breeding started on 22nd November 2017. Submission rate for the first three weeks of the breeding season was 89% with 65 animals inseminated. The first group of cows inseminated were pregnancy diagnosed on 27th December and 3rd January with an encouraging 27 of 34 cows presented PD’d positive to date.

Dairy Open Days Performance of the herd against the KPIs will be discussed at the CAFRE Dairy Open Days on 24th and 25th January 2018. Tours will start from 10.30am every 20 minutes each day and the tours will last for two hours. The last tour will start at 1.30pm. A light lunch will be available after the tour.

There will be six stops on the tour of the Greenmount Dairy Farm which will focus on:

  • Benchmarking Dairy Herd Performance
  • Replacement Heifer rearing
  • Slurry utilisation and forage production
  • Dry cow management
  • Cow and calf management at calving
  • Feed efficiency and current herd diets

Further details are available through the Dairy Open Day App which can be downloaded from:

Martin Mulholland and Farm Manager Michael Graham checking herd performance details ahead of the CAFRE Dairy Open Days

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