SOUND JUDGES

Irish Independent - Farming - - FARM OUR -

mented on this as it helps milk sup­pli­ers to man­age volatil­ity which is a threat to any busi­ness and in par­tic­u­lar a grow­ing one with sub­stan­tial bor­row­ings.

While 2017 has been a good in­come year, I am more wary of 2018. Some of the risks could in­clude: ÷A lower milk price. ÷De­ferred tax­a­tion by pay­ing pre­lim­i­nary tax based on 100pc of 2016 a very low profit year. ÷Higher costs for fer­tiliser, labour, fuel etc. ÷Higher ex­pen­di­ture, in par­tic­u­lar on re­cur­ring pay­ments over five or 10 years.

Milk­ing plat­form

On the milk­ing plat­form graz­ing fin­ished on De­cem­ber 4. Clos­ing farm cover was 560kg/ DM/ha. Our high­est cover was PHOTO: TONY KEANE 1350kg/DM/ha and 20pc of the farm has cov­ers over 1000kg/ DM/ha.

All the herd is now dry and on win­ter feed, some on the pad, some in the cu­bi­cles and more on grass.

We have good cov­ers of grass on the win­ter blocks av­er­ag­ing 2000kg/DM/ha and they are mostly on 24 hour breaks. We have fed a few bales of silage but mostly grass so far as the ground is soft and will not take ex­tra feed­ing on each block.

This week we will hoof pare, dose and treat all the cows for lice. Once that is done, we will batch the cows based on calv­ing date and body con­di­tion.

All empty cows have now left the farm so we are only win­ter­ing in-calf an­i­mals. They will get dry cow min­er­als from here on as part of the win­ter regime.

We have de­cided to buy half the tags this year elec­tronic and they will be at­tached to all the heifer calves.

This will fa­cil­i­tate auto draft­ing in the fu­ture when we con­struct the new par­lour.

Henry and Pa­tri­cia Walsh farm in Oran­more, Co Gal­way, along with their son, Enda, and neigh­bour and out-farm owner John Moran

Brian Scully of spon­sors FBD presents over­all win­ner Gerry Flynn, En­field with his award at the 2017 Kil­dare Hol­stein Friesian Club (KHFC) Stock Judg­ing awards; also pic­tured are sec­ond and third prize win­ners Mervyn Ea­ger and Trevor Han­ley.

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