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.
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.