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Farm Walk on Expanding Family Dairy Farm

Young dairy farmers are preparing their businesses to survive and prosper into the future by expanding milk production. The predominant model for expansion will be from existing family-run dairy units and one such young farmer will open his farm on Friday, 11 June for others to see his expansion plans for the years ahead.

Daniel and Amy O’Donnell, from Knockaunacuit, Cappoquin, County Waterford aim to increase cow numbers from 65 to 100 milking cows, on a challenging, upland grassland farm, located at the foothills of the Knockmealdown mountains. All dairy farmers have an opportunity to visit the O’Donnell farm, on Friday, 11 June, from 11am to 1.00pm for a farm walk.

This Waterford family farm is part of the BETTER dairy farm programme, in which Teagasc, Glanbia, FBD, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, AIB and the Irish Farmers’ Journal are involved. Over the next five years Teagasc will provide intensive technical support to this dairy farm, under the guidance of dairy specialist Adrian Van Bysterveldt. The objective of the project is to demonstrate a financially profitable milk expansion programme.

The O’Donnell family farm is situated near Cappoquin on the Waterford/Tipperary border and overlooks the Cistercian Abbey at Mount Mellary. Located approx. 700 feet above sea level, the farm is surrounded by forestry on a number of bounds fences. Farm soils are heavy, which challenges early spring grazing.

Visitors to the Open Day will see:

  • 5-year farm development plan.
  • Adoption of key technologies in relation to grassland management, increased use of high EBI genetics and improved herd health status.
  • Improved farm infrastructure in relation to soil fertility, drainage, farm roadways and reseeding.
  • The financial implications of the expansion.

This farm walk is an approved event for farmers participating in the Dairy Efficiency Programme. The farm is only a short distance from Mitchelstown in Cork, Cahir in Tipperary and Lismore in Waterford. The Open Day will appeal to all farmers, but will hold extra appeal for those farming on difficult soils.