How this top dairy farmer grows 18t DM/ha - twice the national average grass production level
'It's about having the right people, the right cow and the right grass' top dairy farmer on his grassland management routine
Grass management is about having the right people, with the right cow and the right grass in front of them. That’s the verdict of Grassland Farmer of the Year Eddie O’Donnell who was speaking at the Teagasc Grass Fed Dairy Conference in Naas yesterday.
For Eddie grassland management is based around the cornerstones of “soil fertility, reseeding, infrastructure, grass management and measurement.”
In 2017 the overall grass production on his 116ha dairy farm farm was 18.6t DM/ha, compared to the average of 9.1t nationally and 16t in the top 20pc of farms in the country.
Eddie and his team made up of staff Philip and Jeremy soil test the grass every two years and conducts a fertiliser plan in annually while also colour coding his paddocks.
“It doesn’t matter what your soil type is or where you are located in the country, grass can be grown properly,” he said.
Eddie selects the paddocks for re-seeding from the cumulative growth chart on PastureBase Ireland at the end of the year and aims to do their re-seeding in spring time as he finds this method to have the quickest turnaround time with the least risk,” says Eddie.