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Who is the local dairy advisor?

Contact your local Teagasc advisor or office.

Where will I get an EBI report?

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) issue EBI reports, ask a farmer for the report when stock are being purchased.

Where will I get information on dairy herd diseases?

The Animal Health Ireland (AHI) website contains farmer friendly factsheets on diseases affecting dairy farmers. Also available on Teagasc website under Dairy/Animal Health.

What will it cost me to get up and running?

If you were starting from a Greenfield site it could cost over €4-5,000 per cow to set up a dairy enterprise. This cost will be reduced where existing stock is available to sell, slurry storage is already in place, reseeding has been carried out; second hand equipment is purchased etc. No two farms will have the same set up costs. Individual farmers have to spend between €2,200 and €5,000 per cow place.

How can I finance the start-up costs?

Use your own assets (stock, cash) and in many situations a loan will be required. A full physical and financial six year plan is required. Talk to your bank rep early on as were required, acquiring finance can take longer than expected.

What should I do first/prioritise?

There are three essentials – get the right type of cow, get the grass land area set up to produce and utilise grass and have a financial plan for your farm that you understand.

Who should I talk to?

Talk to your local Teagasc dairy advisor and your local co-op. Talk to profitable dairy farmers who enjoy dairying as a lifestyle. Join a local dairy discussion group.

Dry stock farmer - has no experience of dairying!

Start milking cows for a profitable dairy farmer who enjoys dairying as a business and a lifestyle. Visit open days and field events. Join a dairy discussion group. Prepare business plan for your farm using your own costs/quotes.

Where can a farmer get more information?

Purchase the Teagasc Dairy Manual (310 page manual) from your local dairy advisor.