The Irish Grassland Association Dairy Summer Tour took place on the 12th of August in Co. Laois on the farms of David and Paul Hyland and David Kerr. Over 400 delegates attended the event and lively discussion took place throughout the day.
David and Paul Hyland
David and Paul Hyland are in a three-way partnership with their mother Lucy, on their farm at Ballacolla, Co. Laois. The farm comprises both owned and leased land with a milking platform of 114 ha grazing 360 cows. The farm has seen a lot of expansion over the past decade with cow numbers increasing by over 50% in the period, from 236 cows up to 360 this year. Since the mid 1990’s the milk output from the farm has increased more than threefold. Stocking rate is high at 2.75 LU/ha. The complicating factor is that the milking block is split in two, with a 1 km stretch between the nearest points of both blocks. The herd is grazed and milked as one unit so the normal grazing rotation is also split between the two land blocks, with the cows walking down the public road about every ten days. Milking is facilitated by two parlours – a 16 unit parlour on one block and a bigger 20 unit parlour for milking the cows on the larger land block.