Dairy Feed Efficiency
Four farms have been previously selected to be Technology Demonstration Farms for the Feed Efficiency theme. These can demonstrate the selected essential technologies.
Group bookings must be made through CAFRE.
Telephone: 028 9442 6790
Stephen Gibson – Hillsborough, Co. Down
In 2012 a management decision was taken to change enterprise from beef to dairying. Currently the Gibson family run a herd of 105 cows managed by Stephen and his father. The majority of the herd calve in autumn/winter and are TMR fed, with additional concentrates being topped up in the parlour. The aim during the grazing season is to maximise milk from grass
CAFRE has recently recruited the following farmers within the Feed Efficieny theme
Chris Catherwood – Newtownards, Co. Down
Chris farms on the Ards Peninsula in a profit share agreement with the Rankin family. A herd of 235 dairy cows are calved in a tight spring block system, commencing on 25th January. A high emphasis is placed on maximising milk from grazed grass, focusing on grass measurement, soil fertility and herd fertility. The herd are fed a TMR in the dry period over winter.
Philip Kyle – Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone
The Kyle family farm comprises 88 milking cows in an all year round calving system. In 2014 the decision was taken to reduce cow numbers and focus on maximising milk from forage. As a result, meal fed per cow has reduced, annual milk production per cow has increased, as well as total litres sold and profitability.
Robert Bryson – Loughbrickland, Co. Down
The Bryson family run a herd of 192 Holstein / Friesian cows in a predominantly summer / autumn calving system. Robert aims to operate a simple and profitable system, which can facilitate a good work life balance. A long grazing season is routinely achieved to maximise milk from forage. Cows are fed block silage and use out of parlour feeders when housed in winter.
Stewart Watson – Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
The Watson farm comprises of 80 Holstein Friesian cows, in an all year round calving system. In 2007, a Lely robot was installed. A high emphasis is placed on soil nutrient management and producing high quality forages. The herd is zero grazed during the summer months. A particular focus is placed on herd nutrition and utilizing computer feeding software to monitor and maximise feed efficiency.
Alastair Taylor – Ballymoney, Co. Antrim
The Taylor family run a herd of 250 cross bred cows and rear all replacements. Cows are managed on a total confinement basis and are milked through four robots with an average 305 day yield of 10,000l. The herd is fed with a robot mixer and cows are zero grazed during the grazing season. The farm also has an anaerobic digester and broiler houses.
Kevin McGrade – Dromore , Co. Tyrone
The McGrade family run a herd of 255 dairy cows on a low input system with a target yield of 7000l [4.8%BF and 3.70%P] on 1.8T of concentrate. A high emphasis is placed on maximising milk from grazed grass, focusing on grass measurement and soil fertility. During the winter period cows are fed 3 kg of concentrates through out of parlour feeders with cows fed to yield up to a maximum if 9kg/day.
David Hunter – Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone
Ten years ago David came home to farm full time and a management decision was taken to change enterprise from beef and sheep to dairying. Currently the Hunter family run a herd of 100 cows managed by David and his father. The herd calve in spring over a 12 week period from 1st February and are fed to yield in the parlour. The aim during the grazing season is to maximise milk from grass.