With restrictions prohibiting large gatherings from taking place, the Irish Grassland Association’s Dairy Summer Tour will take place online this July.
Revisiting three farms that hosted the event from 2014 to 2016, video clips from the farms airing on Twitter and Facebook from Monday to Wednesday, July 20th – 22nd will look back at where the host farmers were at the time they hosted the tour, where they are now and where they see themselves going in the future.
On Thursday, July 23rd, all three hosts will join the Irish Grassland team and sponsors AIB for an online meeting to answer questions about the direction that their farms have gone and about their plans for the future.
David Kerr from Ballyfin in Co. Laois hosted the event in 2014, the theme being successful strategies for expansion.
His strategy was based on increasing herd size from within his highly fertile dairy herd with investment in low-cost slurry storage and cow accommodation.
Over 450 farmers from around the country attended to hear how David operated a predominantly grass-based system of milk production on his 160-acre farm.
Milking 140 cows that year, just prior to quota abolition, he also reared his replacement heifer calves but the yearling heifers were being contract reared off-farm.
That year, cows were on course to produce 400 kg milk solids. At a farm stocking rate of close to one cow per acre, he expected grass growth to exceed 14 tonnes of dry matter on this mixed free-draining and peaty farm.