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Michael Doran on his decision to convert from drystock to dairy farming


Dairy farmer Michael Doran joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge to discuss the decision to convert from drystock to dairy farming.

After 20 years of mixed drystock farming, Michael made the decision to convert to dairy farming. The idea of dairy farming had been mooted before, but it wasn’t until his son James was born with an illness that he focused his mind on dairying and the ability to make more money from the farm.

Michael explains the importance of people to the dairy farm including other farmers, Teagasc experts and discussion groups. He became involved in a new entrant dairy discussion group facilitated by Abigail Ryan where the farmers were all starting at the same level and learned a lot from Abigail as well as from each other.

Additionally, Michael became a monitor farmer for the Glanbia joint programme in 2015 and found working with advisor Richie O’Brien and the 11 monitor farmers very helpful.

Michael also identifies measurement as important to ensure top performance of dairy business. In year 6 of dairying, the farm produced 17 tonne DM/ha and the cows produced 480 kg MS and empty rates are running at an average of 5%.

Michael believes converting to dairy was the right decision and which has given the opportunity to reinvest profits in farm infrastructure, purchase land and take family holidays for 2-3 weeks during the summer.

Listen to previous episodes here The Dairy Edge Podcast