Focus On Profit Programme
“We will empower our client farmers with up-to-date technical advice, financial expertise to set and achieve financial goals, provide a blueprint for profitable and environmentally sustainable farming and ensure an enhanced quality of life”
The joint Kerry Agribusiness/ Teagasc “Focus on Profit” Programme focuses on improving the technical and financial performance of dairy farms in the Kerry Agribusiness catchment area. Consistent with the mission statement, the programme aims to provide Kerry Agribusiness milk suppliers with tools to increase farm profit by focusing on sustainable improvements in farm productivity.
The Kerry Agribusiness/Teagasc “Focus on Profit” Programme is structured as follows:
- Monitor Farm Programme comprising 10 Monitor Farms and 5 Heavy Soils Farms.
- Discussion Group Programme with 40 Discussion Groups.
- Monitoring of grass growth across the Kerry Agribusiness catchment.
- Targeted campaigns on grazing management, soil fertility, milk quality and farm systems.
- Farm Info-Zone events to enhance programme participation among all suppliers.
All Kerry Agribusiness milk suppliers can participate in a range of meetings, farm walks and workshops throughout the catchment.
Soil Fertility a Key Focus on Ruttle Farm
Sean McCarthy, Kerry Agribusiness, recently met with Philip Ruttle to catch-up on what's happening on the family farm in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. Philip farms with his parents and this year they will milk 84 cows and rear 20 calves and 20 maiden heifers on 46 hectares.
By February 22nd, sixty five cows had calved. Cows go to grass as they calve, and almost 20% of the farm has been grazed, using on/off grazing. Given the challenging grazing conditions since cows started calving this is a great achievement. With the recent improvement in the weather, cows will go to grass fulltime in the next few days.
Soil fertility is a huge focus on the farm currently and Philip has completed soil sampling and is using his Teagasc, colour coded, Nutrient Management maps, to make decisions. He keeps a laminated copy on the tractor. 100% of the farm has optimum soil PH so the focus now is on P and K. Last year Philip moved another 20% of the farm into optimum K level. Currently, he is applying either 18-6-12 or 10-10-20 to paddocks depending on the paddock status.
Last year the farm grew 12.8t dry matter per hectare. A continued focus on good grazing management and improved soil fertility will easily increase this to over 15t grown.
The first Milk Recording of the year is scheduled to happen this week and will give Philip an opportunity to assess individual cow performance and milk quality. A selective approach to dry cow therapy was used and Philip is happy with the outcome. Results from the Milk Recording will add further scrutiny to this approach.
Calving has progressed very well, with Philip reaping the rewards of achieving good cow condition and a focus on easy calving. After 3 weeks, calves are fed milk OAD, with heifer calves receiving milk replacer.