Peter Maguire

Sheep and tillage farmer from Westmeath – saved €8,300

The Smart Farming team examined soil fertility, energy use, grassland management, water use, feed, inputs, waste, time, and machinery management on Peter’s farm and identified savings of €8,317

Grassland – €252 saving

  • If topping paddocks this should be done immediately as soon as the animals leave as any later and the new growth will be removed from the sward
  • Aim for 2 weeks earlier turnout of animals

Feed – €0 saving

  • Take silage samples
  • Increase DMD of silage and reduce concentrate supplementation

Soil fertility – €7,150 saving

  • Tailored fertiliser and lime requirements
  • Target fertiliser use and avail of alternative sources of organic fertilisers (Saving €27 per 1,000 gallons)
  • Rent/lease out excess land to maximise stockign density potential to 170kgN/ha on remaining land (rent out 20ha @ €300/ha)

Energy – €80 saving

  • Consider improving attic insulation
  • Compare electricity suppliers
  • Use low energy bulbs in lights

Machinery – €365 saving

  • Turn tractor engine off rather than leaving the engine idling (6%)
  • Alter tyre pressure according to work type, soil or weather conditions (20%)
  • An allowance must be made to replace older machinery, this is not currently in the budget

Time management – €0 saving

  • Careful assessment of time taken for tasks throughout the year
  • Contract out tasks to concentrate time on milking, grassland management and livestock care

Water – €0 saving

  • Ensure adequate water supply for livestock to ensure sufficient supplies at all times

Inputs & waste – €470 saving

  • Reduction of collected surface water
  • Proper collection and storage of chemicals, etc.
  • Wilting of silage which in turn will result in reduced effluent disposal costs
  • Correct and safe collection and disposal of waste and hazardous material

Total Savings – €8,317

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