Kerry farmer aims to drive ‘more milk’ from grass

Farming in Castleisland, Co. Kerry, dairy farmer Michael O’Sullivan officially joined the DLF grass partner programme at the initiative’s annual meeting in Tullamore on Wednesday.

Launched last year, the programme brings the four participating dairy farmers on a journey to improve and expand their farming enterprises; better grassland management is their key focus.

Through a combination of expert advice, top-class varieties and unique access to the latest grass genetic material coming from DLF’s Irish breeding programme, the farmers involved will ultimately achieve ‘More Milk with DLF’.

At the event, all four participating dairy farmers were presented with soil nutrient advice from Teagasc’s Mark Plunkett, along with the latest varieties being introduced to the programme for 2018.

Speaking at the event, DLF general manager Paul Flanagan said: “It’s been a very challenging autumn and spring for farmers, so now more than ever it’s important that farmers continue to invest in their grassland to improve their grass production.

This programme has two stated objectives. Firstly, we aim to improve the grassland management approach of each of our four grass partners; ensuring they produce more milk from grass.

“Secondly, the partner farmers will be the first farms in the country to grow and utilise new grass varieties selected from our research site in Waterford.

“This is something that is completely unique to our industry and something that we are very excited about,” he said.

Michael added: “For my wife Bernie and I, the success of our farm is heavily rooted in proper grassland management.

We’re really excited to be involved in the ‘More Milk with DLF’ grass partner programme, as we believe it will help us bring that to fruition.

“We reseeded 14ac last August with DLF seeds and, despite the weather, we’re very happy with how it turned out. We plan to reseed 100% of the farm over the next five-to-seven years,” he noted.