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.