LOCAL NATIONAL SCHOOL ENJOY VISIT TO MONITOR FARM
Paudie & Pauline O’ Brien, Firies, recently hosted a group of Junior and Senior Infant pupils from St. Josephs National School, Castlemaine, Co. Kerry. Paudie gave an excellent overview and practical examples of the workings of a busy dairy farm. Paudie also emphasized some of the main dangers of working on a dairy farm, especially for children, and highlighted the need for vigilance at all times. However, the highlight of the day for the pupils was the opportunity to feed some calves !
Pictures From Recent Advisory Committee Meetings
Calfcare Event At James and Michael Hickey's Farm
Kerry Agribusiness in conjunction with Animal Health Ireland and Teagasc recently hosted a Calfcare Event on the farm of James and Michael Hickey, Caherconlish, co. Limerick. The theme of this event was “Today’s Calves, Tomorrow’s Herd – How to maximise calf health for long term profitability”.
There was a large attendance on the day and the following topics were discussed in detail:
Labour Efficient Calf Management – how to feed calves in a well organised manner without compromising animal health.
Calf Housing – Good calf house design is critical for calf health and growth. Discussion on design and layout which should be considered when building or renovating a calf shed.
Disinfection Protocols for Calf Rearing – Implementation of best practice on disinfection protocols for equipment, personnel and calf accommodation.
Paddy Harvey on his experience with the Munster Herd Health Programme
Paddy Harvey and his wife Carmel are Kerry Agribusiness suppliers farming 61 hectares of land in Brisla, Cooraclare. Their holding includes a sizable plot of rented land adjacent to the home farm which has been an important factor in enabling considerable herd expansion over the last number of years.
Paddy and Carmel have further plans for expansion into 2018 with the introduction of 25 replacement heifers set to push cow numbers up from 93 last year to 110 in the coming season. The expansion in cow numbers has been well planned with housing and feeding infrastructure already in place to facilitate herd growth.
We recently asked Paddy to share his experience as a member of the Munster Herd Health Programme with us:
The Munster Herd Health Programme allows me to continuously monitor my herd health and performance. I have peace of mind in that I know my herd will perform for fertility, SCC and milk production.
It provides me with a very clear plan in terms of what I need to vaccinate against and dose for - I can see from my results that it is working.
This service is very convenient, I just made a phone call and signed up, since then my four bulk milk samples are automatically taken and analysed by Kerry Agribusiness. I receive the results after each test and if I need any clarification or help I can call the Munster Vet.
I find the end of year consultation with the vet invaluable, we review the previous year, go through any issues I had, my disease control, fluke & worm control, SCC, fertility, milk performance, BCS & energy balance of my cows. I leave the meeting with a plan for further improvement, confident that any changes or decision we agree are backed up by information and results from my farm.
I recommend this programme to all herd owners as it removed the guess work out of dosing and vaccination, reduced labour in managing issues and I am more in control of my overall performance.
Paddy Harvey, Cooraclare
Call Munster AI on 022 43228 to sign up for the Munster Herd Health Programme 2018.
Farm Info Zone Events
The December Farm Info Zone events were a great success with experts available at all events to discuss seasonal issues such as dry cow feeding, silage quality and soil fertility. However, the busy spring period is fast approaching and experts were available to discuss the fundamentals of successful calf rearing management which is so important to ensure availability of productive replacements on dairy farms.
Kerry Agribusiness “Grass Monitoring Group” visit Curtin's Farm Moorepark
Kerry Agribusiness in association with Teagasc is currently working with three PastureBase ‘Grass Monitoring Groups’ with members from counties Kerry, Limerick and Clare (15 per group; 45 in total). Pictured are the Kerry “Grass Monitoring Group” on a recent visit to Curtin’s Farm, Moorepark.
PastureBase Ireland (PBI) is a web-based grassland management application incorporating a dual function of grassland-decision support and a centralised national database to collate commercial farm grassland data. This facilitates the collection and storage of vast quantities of grassland data from grassland farmers. The database spans across ruminant grassland enterprises – dairy, beef and sheep. It helps farmers determine appropriate actions around grassland management at the paddock level. Individual farmers enter data through the completion of regular pasture cover estimations across the farm, allowing the performance of individual paddocks to be evaluated within and across years.
Grazing Management Competition
Kerry Agribusiness Grazing Management Competition participants from Kerry and Limerick recently attended a two-hour training session on the farm of William Dennehy, Currow, Co. Kerry and John Molyneaux, Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick. The students were given an overview of grassland management techniques and training on grass measurement. The students are required to identify one or more paddocks in Autumn 2017 and manage/monitor the paddock(s) over the winter period to ensure the paddock(s) can be grazed for a minimum of 4 days in February 2018. Entries will be judged on grass quantity, quality and the grazing management techniques used in spring 2018.
We would like to thank all the students for participating and wish them the best of luck!
Winner of Honda ATV Quad
Congratulations to Eamon Murphy, Milford, winner of a Honda ATV Quad courtesy of Chanelle. Pictured are Mike Myers, Chanelle Veterinary, Eamon Murphy, winning Milk Supplier, Mike Mulcahy & John O’Keeffe, Kerry Agribusiness, Milford and Howard Pearson, Area Sales Manager, Chanelle.
Kerry Agribusiness Engage with 4th Year ITT Students
Kerry Agribusiness are currently working on final year projects with two BSc Agricultural Science students at the Institute of Technology Tralee. Sean Hayes will be supported by the Kerry Agribusiness Quality Manager, James O’Connell, on a project investigating Thermoduric bacteria source and identification and Grainne Gilsenan will be supported by Kerry Agribusiness Animal Nutritionist, Stephen O’ Regan, on a project investigating silage quality on dairy farms and how it affects cow body condition score. Best of luck to students and mentors!
Kerry Agribusiness Finalists - NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards
Kerry Agribusiness would like to extend our congratulations to the Crotty family from Loop Head, Co. Clare and the Finn family from Dromina, Co. Cork on being selected as finalists in this year’s NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. The NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards is an annual national award programme that recognises standards of excellence in dairy farming. Farms nominated for the annual awards undergo a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel based on milk quality test results and technical reports spanning a full 12-month period.
Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme
Kerry reaches Sustainability Milestone with 100% Certification of Milk Suppliers
On Friday 29 September 2017, Kerry Agribusiness and our colleagues in Kerry Charleville welcomed the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, and Edmond Scanlon, Kerry Group Chief Executive, to mark the official announcement of the Group’s achievement of 100% certification of our milk suppliers under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
A founder member of Origin Green, Kerry has become the first major milk processor to achieve complete certification under SDAS across its entire milk pool. Since the introduction of SDAS, we have been actively engaged with our milk suppliers to help guide them through the certification process and we would like to congratulate all our milk suppliers on the work done at farm level to ensure full compliance with SDAS and the achievement of 100% certification.
Having reached this milestone, our focus will now turn to supporting our milk suppliers in their continued drive to optimise efficiencies and achieve sustainable production.