Pictured (left to right): Dairy farmer, Liam Cahill with local Lakeland Agri Sales Representative, Martin Sexton.
Liam Cahill is a recent entrant to dairy farming, residing just outside the town of Mullagh on the Cavan-Meath border. Liam began dairy farming in 2014, having previously had sucklers on the holding. Over the course of the last 6 years, he has grown the herd to now milk 130 cows in 2021, on a 50:50 split, autumn and spring calving pattern.
The milking platform stands at roughly 75acres (30.4 hectares), leaving Liam quite heavily stocked on the platform at 4.3 LU/ha. A combination of his split calving pattern and zero-grazing out blocks of land help him to overcome the stocking density on the milking platform.
In 2019, with cow numbers rising and zero-grazing becoming an element of his grazing management, Liam decided to reseed some of the out-blocks of land. Upon the advice of his local Lakeland Agri Sales Representative, Martin Sexton, Liam decided to use the Lakeland Agri LFS Cut & Graze Mixture as the grass seed of choice for these blocks. This gave Liam the flexibility to have a grass seed mixture that would provide 1-2 quality cuts of silage, while also a grass sward that would be palatable and suitable for zero-grazing to fill deficits on the milking platform, either at the shoulders of the year or during periods of slower growth in the mid-season.
In 2019, 10 acres of one out-farm was reseeded with the LFS Cut & Graze, while another 12 acres of a different out-block were reseeded with the same grass seed mixture a year later in 2020.
The initial 10 acres was sprayed off, disk harrowed, and the grass seed sown using a one-pass system. Unfortunately, shortly after sowing, the weather became extremely dry, resulting in stunted growth of the new reseed.
“Both Martin and I didn’t think the grass seed was going to work at all after the slow start it got with a month’s drought. However, when it got rain, it drove on and it hasn’t looked back since,” said Liam.
On farm results
Two years on, and the grass sward still looks clean with very little weed infestation and a good level of clover. Liam had the following to say on his experience of reseeding with the LFS Cut & Graze Mixture.
“The grass sward is growing exceptionally well despite the hard start it got. On the 10 acre block this year, I have already grazed it with heifers in the spring, cut it twice and will get two rounds of zero-grazing off it.
On the 12-acre block which we reseeded in 2020, it was grazed in the spring, I took a first cut off of it in May and there have been 30 large cattle on it since (stocking rate of 4LU/ha). Even despite the drought, I have been able to keep grass in front of them. It’s going really, really well.”
Liam continues, “With the way I am in winter milk, silage quality is critical to me. I generally use a TMR with brewers grain, silage, straw and dairy blend. This past two years, silage quality from the reseeded fields were excellent and there was a good crop on both the first and second cuts. The quality of the sward is excellent for using with the zero-grazer and the cows love it. I have more reseeding planned for this year and next year and I will definitely be using the LFS Cut & Graze mix again for that. I would highly recommend it to other farmers”.
LFS Cut & Graze Mixture
The LFS Cut & Graze mixture is the ultimate grass seed mixture for flexibility. Utilising varieties such as Oakpark and Astonking, it offers high volumes of excellent quality grass silage, suitable for cutting in late May/early June. It also offer varieties such as Astonenergy, a 5-Star grazing variety on the Teagasc grazing utilisation trials, and Meiduno to maximise grass quality and palatability for grazing. It is extremely persistent to withstand the pressure of multiple cuttings in the year from either silage or zero-grazing, whilst offering excellent ground cover. It has good overall growth throughout the year, with some of the varieties specifically offering exceptional spring growth. It also contains 0.75Kg un-pelleted clover – which satisfies the requirements of the DAFM Derogation from 2020 onwards.
The LFS Cut & Graze mixture forms part of the Lakeland Agri Grass Seed Mixture offering, ably accompanied by the LFS High-Density mix, LFS 3-Cut Silage mix and LFS Intensive Graze mix.
For further information on the full range of Lakeland Agri Grass Seed Mixtures, contact your local Lakeland Agri Sales Representative or our Customer Services Centre on 0818 47 47 20 ( ROI ) or 028 30262311 (NI ).
Alternatively, view our grass seed range here: