Key Learnings from the Heavy Soils Programme


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Pat Tuohy, Programme Coordinator of the Heavy Soils Programme, joins Stuart Childs on this week’s episode of The Dairy Edge podcast, to speak about the findings from the last ten years that have helped to develop a blueprint for resilient dairy farms on heavy soils across the country.

Pat started by revisiting the wet years of 2009 and 2012 which were the catalyst for the commencement of the programme and explained that while, the initial focus on the programme was on drainage, after the first few years, the levels of soil fertility came to the fore and became a key focus area for all the farms.

As a result of significant improvements made in this area, along with better farm infrastructure, large increases in grass utilisation have been achieved.

Pat says that being good at all aspects of dairy farming from herd genetics and breeding management, as well as the grassland management, is important and that in the reality, the only difference between the heavy soils’ farms and other farms is the soil type and that the way the farmers on the programme manage all aspects of their operation is key to them running profitable operations in spite of their soil type.

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