Open Day On Expanding Dairy Farm

UK - Over six hundred farmers attended a Dairy Open Day on the farm of James & Sinead Walsh, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, on Wednesday 20 July.
calendar icon 22 July 2011
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The Walsh’s are participants in the Greenfield Dairy programme, which is an initiative by Teagasc, Glanbia, Department of Agriculture, the Farmers Journal, FBD trust and AIB.

Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, Tom O Dwyer said:”The Greenfield Dairy Programme is a new Teagasc initiative established in 2009. James & Sinead Walsh are one of two family demonstration farms set up to show best practice in all aspects of growing a dairy business.”

Speaking at the event, host farmer, James Walsh said:”You must know what you want from your farm in terms of herd performance and also what you want the farm to deliver for you and your family. I want a low cost, low input, high profit farm which will generate a lot of free cash for my family. I reckon that I am putting that system in place. Being unclear on this allows me to avoid the ‘Ah sure’ costs which must be avoided at all times.”

Teagasc Dairy Specialist, George Ramsbottom said: “Anybody considering an expansion of their dairy enterprise of this scale must establish a cash flow budget. Cash flow has been extremely tight on this farm during 2010, but it is being helped greatly in 2011 by the strong milk price. Failure to adequately finance capital expansion, coupled with attempting to pay for the expansion from cash flow, puts huge pressure on cash flow.”

Willie Dwyer, Teagasc Business and Technology Dairy Adviser said: ”Herd production on this farm improved in 2011 for a number of reasons, including better cow condition at calving, a more settled and mature herd, and a slight increase in cow numbers. James is well on target to reach his milk solids production target in 2011. His protocol for controlling Somatic Cell Count (SCC) in the Spring has contributed enormously to his low SCC level during the year and his current SCC reading is 61,000 cells per millilitre.”

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