Fine weather and rising milk prices ensure IHFA open day is a huge success

MORE than 3,000 dairy farmers and their families attended the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) open day on the farm of Thomas and Michael Buckley at Ballinahina, Dublin Pike, near Cork city.

Organisers said fine weather and rising milk prices boosted the attendance, and the event was “very positive” for more than 60 trade standholders.

The IHFA National Herds competition, sponsored by Lely Robotics and judged by Mervyn Johnston of the Mullakapin herd at Lisbellaw in Co Fermanagh, resulted in wins for Kerry Co-op supplier Paul Hannan’s Lisnalty herd in the over-70 cow section; Lakeland Dairies supplier Damian Wynne’s Rowantree herd in the under-70 section; and Arrabawn supplier Eamon McLoughney in the spring herd section.

Winners in the national stockjudging competition were the Tipperary-Waterford team in the under-18 section; the Cork club in the 18-30 section; and the Limerick-Clare club in the spring herd competition. The highest individual scorers were Rory Power (Tipperary-Waterford), Jerry O’Driscoll (Cork) and Billy Hassett (Tipperary-Waterford).

Gold and diamond awards were presented to breeders for cows that produced 3,000kg or more of milk protein in their lifetime.

Another highlight was the sale by Thomas and Michael Buckley of the entire stock judging team of 18 cows and heifers.

They averaged €2,200, with the top price of €5,100 paid for Ballinahina B Mattie198 EX 92, by Picston Shaker, a maternal brother to Shottle. This excellent fourth calver was purchased by Murt Kelleher, White’s Cross, Cork.

A VG 88 second calver by Kite was purchased by the Linnanagh herd for €3,000.

A VG 88 second calver by The Hilltop Ptoto was purchased by Paul Power, Kilcaragh for €2,900. A VG 87 second calver by The Hilltop Ptoto was purchased by the Monamore herd for €2,700. A GP 83 heifer by Cradenhill Eden was purchased by the Mervyn Jones (Hallow herd) for €2,400.

The open day featured demonstrations and workshops on somatic cell counts, body condition scoring, grass wedges, and dry cow husbandry.

Major sponsors for the event included Dairymaster, Keenan Systems, Lely Robotics, the National Dairy Council, Paul & Vincent, Southern Milling, and Volac. Admission was free, and ice cream, food and drinks supplied courtesy of the Cork club, the Down Syndrome Society, and volunteer helpers were a big hit.


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