Lakeland project boosts farm profitability

Dairy farmers are boosting their herd’s fertility, milk solids and their grassland management by participating in the Lakeland Dairies and Teagasc joint research programme.

Phase two of the project has been launched on the farm of John Healion, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

The goal of participant suppliers is to maximise efficiency and profitability on a sustainable basis. Lakeland operates a 15-county catchment area across the northern half of Ireland.

Lakeland chairman, Alo Duffy, said: “The programme has been very successful over the past three years.

"It’s essential for dairy farmers to make decisions based on solid expertise and advice and that is exactly what our joint programme is supporting. We are grateful to Teagasc for their commitment to the programme.”

Along with workshops, farm walks and printed materials, the advisory team provides a service to milk suppliers. The focus here is on improving milk solids, grassland management and dairy-herd fertility.

John Healion is a dairy farmer and new milk supplier to Lakeland Dairies which has used the service.

In February 2014, he contacted Lakeland Dairies, with a view to exploring opportunities converting his beef enterprise to a dairy operation might deliver.

Mr Healion was visited by a member of the joint programme advisory team in March 2014 for an appraisal of the farm. A plan was then prepared for the farm and how best it could be converted to dairy.

“The plan for converting my farm to dairy was laid out in a straightforward manner,” said Mr Healion.

“It highlighted the potential number of cows I could carry, the work I needed to do to set up my land and cow facilities to cater for a proposed dairy herd.

“It also identified the type of stock I needed to purchase and how my farm would be expected to perform at three different levels of efficiency. This was very helpful. I’m happy with my move into dairying and am progressing on target with the plan for my farm.”


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