Genetic Selection and Fertility Management
CAFRE has recently recruited the following farmers to host Technology Demonstration Farm events under this theme:
David Irwin – Benburb, Co. Tyrone
Alan and David Irwin farm near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. They manage the renowned Redhouse Holstein pedigree herd, consisting of approximately 170 cows. Their herd is near the top of UK herds for PLI, (profitable lifetime index), producing in excess of 13,000 litres/cow/year of high quality milk. Genetics/breeding/fertility management are big priorities, along with feeding management. The results speak for themselves! This herd is one of probably only a handful of UK herds in this production bracket that practice block calving, with the majority of cows calving September to Christmas. Lifetime production is a priority, with ~30 cows having produced in access of 100 tonnes milk and with a current herd lifetime yield of over 60,000 litres/cow culled.
Ashley Fleming – Downpatrick, Co. Down
The Fleming family farm in Co Down, with the Mourne Mountains as a backdrop. They manage the long established, award winning Potterwalls Jersey herd. A new purpose built shed and 2 robots have recently been installed. Attention to detail is the name of the game in every aspect of herd management. The demand for stock regularly outstrips supply. Do not be put off by the colour of the cows: this herd is the equivalent of a 10,000+ litre Holstein herd at 4% fat and 3.2% protein.
Conor Casey – Cloughmills, Co. Antrim
The Casey family farm well into the Glens of Antrim hills. The father and son team of Cahal and Conor manage the Carnhill herd of pedigree Holstein cows, (approximately 200 cows), milked on 3 robots. The replacement heifers are contract reared on a local farm. The herd is renowned for quality animals, selling heifers, bulls and cows to local farmers and beyond. Use of genomics has been a big factor in the current success of this herd, which is in the top 10 in the UK, based on PLI. Meticulous record keeping and attention to detail has brought this farm to where it is today.