Lyons showcases best practice in winter milking
UCD's research farm at Lyons opened the doors of its new €2.5m dairy facility to the public for the first time yesterday when the Irish Holstein Friesian breeders held an open day there.
Researchers intend to use a new demonstration herd to showcase best practice for winter milk producing operations.
The 60 cow herd has an average EBI of €221, placing it in the top 1 to 2pc of herds in the country.
Currently, it is on target to produce 8,000l of milk from 1.5t of meal with close to 11t/ha of grassmatter being utilised.
"We were after a particular breakdown in the EBI where the cows' production index was as good as their fertility index," said Dr Karina Pierce, dairy lecturer in UCD.
"That actually rules out a lot of high EBI animals that rely on very high fertility sub-indexes to keep their overall EBI score very high."
She hopes the demo farmlet at Lyons Estate will increase it's already impressive annual grass growth to 17t/ha of drymatter (DM).
"We've only been using half the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) that we could on the area up to now because we are operating at a very low stocking rate.