Farm fragmentation on marginal land strict opportunity for strict grass based milk production on Co Leitrim.

Dairy farms in the Leitrim region have both grass-based winter milk production systems. They focus on Holstein dairy cows with genetic strain focused on high volumes of milk production with genetic component delivering on high solid production.

Farm fragmentation and marginal soil types with relatively high rainfall and longer winters lend themselves to a year long milk production system. This winter has been long, with cows indoors by night since early September. Farmers here have element of winter calving and milk bonus schemes have created situation that calving programmes will begin later in the autumn with combination of breeding into early March with spring calving earlier in the Spring and January calving becoming the norm once again.

Dairy herd size in these units visited today range between 60 – 120 cows. A noted feature is the focus on the excellent housing facilities providing ample beds and feeding space for all stock housed on the farm.

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