Inside, Tom Power walks and trains heifers through the parlour every day during the build-up to calving, to reduce stress on the animals as part of his focus on having clean and healthy cows.
2016 NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards winners Tom and Moya Power milked 200 cows in 2015 at Drumhills Farm Ltd, Ballymullala, Cappagh, Co Waterford.
Moya works in marketing at the nearby Flahavan and Sons oats milling business in Kilmacthomas, and Tom’s parents, Jim and Bríd, play an important support role on the farm. Tom’s cousin Shane Flavin works full-time on the farm.
Tom is the fifth generation to farm the 124 hectares, of which 65 hectares is used for grazing.
Cows are at grass from February or March to December.
The average herd yield is 6,200 litres (1,362 gallons) and milk is supplied to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.
Average 2015 figures were: TBC 5, SCC 102, butterfat 4.43%, protein 3.67%, and lactose 4.82%.
Tom says he practices “preventative maintenance” — aiming to keep all stock healthy, with emphasis placed on vaccinating.
The farm has facilities to cater for 250 cows, since an expansion in 2006. Tom intends to invest in a new cubicle house and to convert existing cubicles into a calf house.
The farm is registered with the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, and uses milk recording. he Powers take part in a dairy discussion group.
On Tuesday in Dublin, the Powers were presented with their prize of €5,000 and the coveted NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup. Presentations were also made to nine other top dairy farmers.
Tom and Moya Power.
Ian and David Lambeton, Fahan, Co Donegal, suppliers to Aurivo Co-op
Arthur, Ann and Conor O’Leary, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, Kerry Agribusiness.
Sean and Treasa Moher, Croughmore Lower, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, Dairygold Co-op.
John, Margaret and Denis O’Dwyer, Knockgorman, Donohill, Co Tipperary, Tipperary Co-op.
Thomas and Laura Griffin (Griffin Dairy Farms Ltd), Ballinroher, Timoleague, Bandon, Co Cork, Barryroe Co-op.
Tim and Breda Hurley and family, Cahirbeg, Rosscarbery, Co Cork, Lisavaird Co-op.
Jim and Derry Byrne, Clonmore, Bree, Co Wexford, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.
Gary, Emma and Martin Horan, Slevoyre, Terryglass, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Arrabawn Co-op.
Nicky and Philip Thornton, Dualla, Cashel, Co Tipperary, Centenary Thurles Co-op.