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Biggest dairy farm/herd in Ireland

  • 19-06-2011 9:07pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 498 ✭✭ Teebor15


    Just saw on the Journal theres a lad near New Ross milking 500 cows in one herd..is it the largest in Ireland?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,271 johngalway


    Nope, there was a guy on TV internet the last week night down in Cork somewhere milking 6 or 700 looking to get to 1,000. Probably others like him and maybe bigger.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ stanflt


    Teebor15 wrote: »
    Just saw on the Journal theres a lad near New Ross milking 500 cows in one herd..is it the largest in Ireland?

    3 in my discussion group +480 so i doubt it


  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭ PMU


    anyone see the tv3 prog. about dairying this evening,was it good?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,271 johngalway


    PMU wrote: »
    anyone see the tv3 prog. about dairying this evening,was it good?

    http://www.tv3.ie/

    Click the "Catch up" button and select the programme you want to watch from the list, the dairy one is listed on it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 338 ✭✭ ihatetractors


    You mean castle annaghs?, only reson that's featured is its largest farm baught by a farmer in last few years... it's some set-up.. 3k internal tared/concrete roadways iirc. Walked around it in 09, for a gawk when it was up for sale :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,489 sh1tstirrer


    PMU wrote: »
    anyone see the tv3 prog. about dairying this evening,was it good?
    Tom Browne seems very down to earth. That other fella the baldly one has some opinion of himself and his farming :rolleyes:
    Why do farmers now have to copy NZ with their milking platform what happen to calling it the grazing area?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 631 ootbitb


    Donegal might boast the largest organic herd.


    Donegal creameries own what was described as the largest farm in Ireland at 3000 acres in Burt which set them back about IR£3.7M a few years ago after the banks moved out the previous owner.

    Possibly only about 400 cows milking though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 718 F.D


    On a slightly different note, i often wonder do the econmies of scale pay off on these farms, for example would the profit margin still be the same if you had 50 cows vs 500
    obviously you would have a bigger turn over, but would your profit margin be higher


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,025 Tipp Man


    F.D wrote: »
    On a slightly different note, i often wonder do the econmies of scale pay off on these farms, for example would the profit margin still be the same if you had 50 cows vs 500
    obviously you would have a bigger turn over, but would your profit margin be higher

    a lot of those big guys are in debt up to their necks and beyond

    A guy milking 100 cows and little to no borrowings is probably a hell of a lot better off than them

    Also the guy with 100 cows is a lot less likely to go broke than a 500 cow herd with millions borrowed


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,786 whelan1


    Tipp Man wrote: »
    a lot of those big guys are in debt up to their necks and beyond

    A guy milking 100 cows and little to no borrowings is probably a hell of a lot better off than them

    Also the guy with 100 cows is a lot less likely to go broke than a 500 cow herd with millions borrowed
    yup the guy with 100-120 cows can do the work on their wn with occassional casual labour , as soon as you go to pay some one fulltime its a different story.... we have a guy round here that in the last year or so has bought any stock that has been for sale, went to kerry to source 100 cows ... bought land etc , the commitments he has to the bank must be massive...also alot of peole are wondering what bank he is with to be able to spend money so easily... missed the programme last night as i was at take that- fantastic show- must look at it later


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,550 Min


    In these really really big herds that use grazed grass, I wonder if their cows are exhausted and lame from all the walking or if they are the fittest cows in the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭ JohnBoy


    F.D wrote: »
    On a slightly different note, i often wonder do the econmies of scale pay off on these farms, for example would the profit margin still be the same if you had 50 cows vs 500
    obviously you would have a bigger turn over, but would your profit margin be higher


    The guy with the 60 bale rotary and hoping to milk a thousand cows said something along the lines that you dont need to be big to be efficient, and it's so true.

    As businesses get bigger it always costs more and more to make that little bit extra.

    a bigger business can get bigger economies of scale sure, but they also have bigger costs to carry. if a small business can replicate the efficiencies of the big guys then they can often make just as good a % profit.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 733 jeff greene


    Tom Browne seems very down to earth. That other fella the baldly one has some opinion of himself and his farming :rolleyes:
    Why do farmers now have to copy NZ with their milking platform what happen to calling it the grazing area?

    Gotta agree, NZ this, NZ that, cows always grazed in Ireland. With all his profit, put some walls on the parlour, even this past month with the wind and rain, not the mention winter time.

    Brown seems different class tho, very charming, amazing setup.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,025 Tipp Man


    You mean castle annaghs?, only reson that's featured is its largest farm baught by a farmer in last few years... it's some set-up.. 3k internal tared/concrete roadways iirc. Walked around it in 09, for a gawk when it was up for sale :D

    so what is castle annaghs like? good quality land? just looking at it in the journal this week, does any of it flood? It has a lot of boundary with the river


  • Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭✭ LCruiser Kid


    No. The biggest or one of the biggest is down here not that fierce far from me actually. Tom Browne. Seen him on TV3's farming programme last night. Milking 620 cows and hopes to head for 1000. Some serious set up there in fairness. :cool:

    Definately agree on his method for measuring grass :D:D. Agree 100% with him.


  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭ PMU


    No. The biggest or one of the biggest is down here not that fierce far from me actually. Tom Browne. Seen him on TV3's farming programme last night. Milking 620 cows and hopes to head for 1000. Some serious set up there in fairness. :cool:

    Definately agree on his method for measuring grass :D:D. Agree 100% with him.
    he was too dismissive of grass measuring,eyeballing all the time is guesswork only.while i am here,why are people on this forum so anti new zealand methods of dairying, they work well for many farmers in this country aswell.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 733 jeff greene


    PMU wrote: »
    he was too dismissive of grass measuring,eyeballing all the time is guesswork only.while i am here,why are people on this forum so anti new zealand methods of dairying, they work well for many farmers in this country aswell.

    Mmmm, seems to have served him well so far:rolleyes:.

    I'm not anti NZ, this is Ireland, we have winters, small fragmented farms, quotas, different attitude to land and animal welfare etc. We graze cows cause we always have not cause NZ has shown us. In these programes NZ is always brought up, why?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,271 johngalway


    PMU wrote: »
    he was too dismissive of grass measuring,eyeballing all the time is guesswork only.while i am here,why are people on this forum so anti new zealand methods of dairying, they work well for many farmers in this country aswell.

    I got the impression he was having a wry dig at other farmers who measure. To be honest I'd just dismiss it as such and think no more of it. Different methods will work for different people, let them away with it.

    As for NZ, I'm all for them now they've reduced sheep numbers :D But, seriously, all good ideas accepted, whether they're home grown or imported. Take the ones that work for ya and leave the rest :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 476 ✭✭ linebacker52


    Mmmm, seems to have served him well so far:rolleyes:.

    I'm not anti NZ, this is Ireland, we have winters, small fragmented farms, quotas, different attitude to land and animal welfare etc. We graze cows cause we always have not cause NZ has shown us. In these programes NZ is always brought up, why?

    New Zealand has some of the best dairy farmers in the world.why shouldn't we be trying what they do over here if it's doesn't work go back to what you did before.a new Zealand type system is working very well for me here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,700 irishh_bob


    Mmmm, seems to have served him well so far:rolleyes:.

    I'm not anti NZ, this is Ireland, we have winters, small fragmented farms, quotas, different attitude to land and animal welfare etc. We graze cows cause we always have not cause NZ has shown us. In these programes NZ is always brought up, why?

    beit the farmers journal or teagasc , anything to do with dairy discussions this past decade , ultimatley end up with comparisons with NZ , i believe thats called group think , ive been to NZ , the coldest and dampest part of that country is similar to cork in terms of hours of sunshine per year and average temp , plus every inch of land which is used for dairying in NZ is pretty much free draining , NZ is pretty irelevant to the majority of the country , we have a lot more in common with parts of scotland and the north of england and wales


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  • Registered Users Posts: 663 John_F


    New Zealand has some of the best dairy farmers in the world.why shouldn't we be trying what they do over here if it's doesn't work go back to what you did before.a new Zealand type system is working very well for me here.

    yes, prob the cheapest nation to produce milk . . . but this is ireland :D : quotas, nitrates regulations, weather, public perception, farm inspections, registration of all cattle, farm size / scale, family farms, farm owner is the farm manager mostly, difficult for young person not from a farm to start off dairying.

    not new zealand :( (particularly canterbury / taranaki): wide tracks of land, ideal grazing weather, contract fert spreading by company who sells fert, unlimited production if a farmer wishes to purchase more shares it is available, public see dairy farms as a large businesses with many people involved (owner, share milkers, investors) as opposed to here where it is a family run operation, very easy to progress to farm ownership, v little traceability with a 'dead hole' on every farm i saw, and even earthquakes :o.

    sure we can learn a few things from nz... dairy industry restructuring, paddock sizes and roadways, calf rearing etc. but they do have things to learn from us: environmental factors, cow welfare, dry cow therapy, traceability..all factors which are down the road for nz.

    fair play to you for running what you call a nz system ;).. but i call a nz system on which cows are out wintered on kale and baleage, calved on the kale, moved to the grazing platform, colostrum sold to fonterra, late calves induced, bull calves killed after being born, heifers only tagged with a jumbo tag for the farm, heifer calves moved off to a contract rearer and paid by how many kgs they gain, sick cows killed and put into a dead hole, a mobile abattoir that comes to kill a few heifers for the freezer. . . what else? :pac:

    I think Ireland has some of the best dairy farmers in the world, not New Zealand :o am i jealous of nz... kind of, but the problems we have with red tape will soon be something they have to deal with




    saw last nights programme, very interesting to see the 3 operations! whats the story with tom brown LCrusier Kid? did he inherit much of what he is farming now and purchase more. some operation hes running in fairness


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 338 ✭✭ ihatetractors


    Tipp Man wrote: »
    so what is castle annaghs like? good quality land? just looking at it in the journal this week, does any of it flood? It has a lot of boundary with the river

    Seemed ok, the area it's in is abit hit and miss.. some parts are the earliest barley land in this part of the country... few fields over could hav a bog :eek: :eek:. One of my friends has land about 2/3 miles away hence why we got to look in around.. farm yard is very well finished.
    Land by river is very high up, bit descieving... would be generaly dry.. tbh we only seen few fields on drive in/around yard but it looked good, other side of the river has the flood plain, very wet in!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭✭ LCruiser Kid


    John_F wrote: »
    yes, prob the cheapest nation to produce milk . . . but this is ireland :D : quotas, nitrates regulations, weather, public perception, farm inspections, registration of all cattle, farm size / scale, family farms, farm owner is the farm manager mostly, difficult for young person not from a farm to start off dairying.

    not new zealand :( (particularly canterbury / taranaki): wide tracks of land, ideal grazing weather, contract fert spreading by company who sells fert, unlimited production if a farmer wishes to purchase more shares it is available, public see dairy farms as a large businesses with many people involved (owner, share milkers, investors) as opposed to here where it is a family run operation, very easy to progress to farm ownership, v little traceability with a 'dead hole' on every farm i saw, and even earthquakes :o.

    sure we can learn a few things from nz... dairy industry restructuring, paddock sizes and roadways, calf rearing etc. but they do have things to learn from us: environmental factors, cow welfare, dry cow therapy, traceability..all factors which are down the road for nz.

    fair play to you for running what you call a nz system ;).. but i call a nz system on which cows are out wintered on kale and baleage, calved on the kale, moved to the grazing platform, colostrum sold to fonterra, late calves induced, bull calves killed after being born, heifers only tagged with a jumbo tag for the farm, heifer calves moved off to a contract rearer and paid by how many kgs they gain, sick cows killed and put into a dead hole, a mobile abattoir that comes to kill a few heifers for the freezer. . . what else? :pac:

    I think Ireland has some of the best dairy farmers in the world, not New Zealand :o am i jealous of nz... kind of, but the problems we have with red tape will soon be something they have to deal with




    saw last nights programme, very interesting to see the 3 operations! whats the story with tom brown LCrusier Kid? did he inherit much of what he is farming now and purchase more. some operation hes running in fairness

    I don't know for certain, but I know he bought land to expand. Think he had tillage too before. Top class set up. Probably inherited the farm and expanded from there on in I presume.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 476 ✭✭ linebacker52


    I don't know for certain, but I know he bought land to expand. Think he had tillage too before. Top class set up. Probably inherited the farm and expanded from there on in I presume.
    http://www.ayearontheland.com/2011/01/11/tom-browne/

    some info about him here


  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭ PMU


    John_F wrote: »
    yes, prob the cheapest nation to produce milk . . . but this is ireland :D : quotas, nitrates regulations, weather, public perception, farm inspections, registration of all cattle, farm size / scale, family farms, farm owner is the farm manager mostly, difficult for young person not from a farm to start off dairying.

    not new zealand :( (particularly canterbury / taranaki): wide tracks of land, ideal grazing weather, contract fert spreading by company who sells fert, unlimited production if a farmer wishes to purchase more shares it is available, public see dairy farms as a large businesses with many people involved (owner, share milkers, investors) as opposed to here where it is a family run operation, very easy to progress to farm ownership, v little traceability with a 'dead hole' on every farm i saw, and even earthquakes :o.

    sure we can learn a few things from nz... dairy industry restructuring, paddock sizes and roadways, calf rearing etc. but they do have things to learn from us: environmental factors, cow welfare, dry cow therapy, traceability..all factors which are down the road for nz.

    fair play to you for running what you call a nz system ;).. but i call a nz system on which cows are out wintered on kale and baleage, calved on the kale, moved to the grazing platform, colostrum sold to fonterra, late calves induced, bull calves killed after being born, heifers only tagged with a jumbo tag for the farm, heifer calves moved off to a contract rearer and paid by how many kgs they gain, sick cows killed and put into a dead hole, a mobile abattoir that comes to kill a few heifers for the freezer. . . what else? :pac:

    I think Ireland has some of the best dairy farmers in the world, not New Zealand :o am i jealous of nz... kind of, but the problems we have with red tape will soon be something they have to deal with




    saw last nights programme, very interesting to see the 3 operations! whats the story with tom brown LCrusier Kid? did he inherit much of what he is farming now and purchase more. some operation hes running in fairness
    nz dairying has developed at a milk price half of what ours has been for the last 35 years. simplicity is the key,calve to grass,easy to manage cows,low costs,winter off "grazing platform ", budgeting.as we expand we can use grass as it is our most available feed.low cost production will allow us to take profit when the milk price is high, and survive when price is low.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 bealaha




    interesting piece on tom browne, it mentions dat he got out of dairying because der was no money in it, but in fact he went broke due to payin too high a price for land locally, but luckily for him he was paid by d EU at d time to get out of dairying, due to the milk lakes building up in europe. at the time he was quite large at that stage 250+ cows.
    then he was able to get his quota back in early 1990's and since then he has been growing his business, and fair play too him he he has great drive and ambition.
    sumthing interesting for ye, that the big new shed he built is actually half of an airport hanger, another 650 cows farmer down here in cork went halves with him for it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,551 ✭✭✭ keep going


    do ye know lads ye are like children arguing away over things.why is it when it comes to stuff like grass measuring and jersey crosses ye get all cross and bitchy.its not a law you dont have to do it and jerseys are not infective.most people farm the way they do because they think its the right way for them,different circumstances dictate to them as well.but there is no doubt that borrowing some aspects of nz farming has improved our returns(extended grazing,tight calving patterns and a focus on grass)so do what you think is right and tell us how its working for you but dont worry about what other fellas are doing.good programme though ,dont think there will be many city chicks chasing farmers with the amount of times they showed farmers up cows holes:D:D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,489 sh1tstirrer


    bealaha wrote: »
    interesting piece on tom browne, it mentions dat he got out of dairying because der was no money in it, but in fact he went broke due to payin too high a price for land locally, but luckily for him he was paid by d EU at d time to get out of dairying, due to the milk lakes building up in europe. at the time he was quite large at that stage 250+ cows.
    then he was able to get his quota back in early 1990's and since then he has been growing his business, and fair play too him he he has great drive and ambition.
    sumthing interesting for ye, that the big new shed he built is actually half of an airport hanger, another 650 cows farmer down here in cork went halves with him for it.
    It says on that website that he got out of cows in 1974 and went into tillage, 15 years later he got his quota back. If he got out of cows in 1974 he wouldn't have a quota in the first place :confused: Unless it was 1980-81 he got out as they were paying farmers to go out of milk around then he would have got a mulder quota in the early 90's. Mulder was a German farmer that took the EU to court over being paid to get out of milk production before quotas were introduced and was unable to start producing milk again because of quotas. He won his case and got his quota and so did many other European farmers thanks to him.

    Keep going yes you are right we have learned a bit from NZ but we should leave phrases like milking platform, mob of cows, bobby calves etc. with the New Zealanders and stick with our own phrases ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 729 ✭✭✭ GeneHunt


    Article: From Farmers Journal (15 March 2003)
    Rotary reduces the workload

    Two years ago it was taking two men two and a half hours morning and evening, (five hours in total), to milk the 350 cows on Tom Browne's dairy farm near Killeagh, in East Cork. The milking was then done in a 22-unit herringbone parlour and Tom was not a happy man.

    Since then, he has invested in a 60-unit Dairymaster Rotary parlour and the improvement in milking time has been dramatic. The 350 cows are now being milked by two men in one hour, morning and evening (two hours in total). One man puts on the clusters while the other is involved in drafting, etc. Virtually everything else is automated.

    When each cow is finished milking, the clusters are automatically removed and she walks through a crate where her udder is automatically sprayed. She then enters a three-way drafting system where the transponder in her ear is scanned as she passes the screen and this is used to dictate which direction she is sent. This can be pre-programmed or decided as the cow goes onto the milking platform.

    After two years in use, Tom Browne is extremely happy with the performance of this parlour, which cost €355,000 for the machine, plus an additional €200,000 for the building and ancillary fittings. He draws attention to the fact that this machine is capable of milking 500 cows, so he would still like to acquire more quota, if possible.

    The average yield of this herd, last year, was 1,420 gallons per cow, on 500-600 kilos of meal, but Tom does not expect to match that this year.

    Tom's 350 cows are managed as one herd and had previously been grazed in 12-hour paddocks. Since moving to 2.5-3 day paddocks (five-acre paddocks) the cows seem much less stressed, protein levels have gone way up and the system is much less demanding on labour and management skills. He now questions whether or not they were getting enough to eat in the small paddocks.

    A further change in his approach to feeding is that, having tried maize silage for a number of years, he now believes that it is overrated and has given up using it. He argues that, if grass silage can be made at 75-80 DMD, it is hard to beat.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 733 jeff greene


    As I said, I'm not anti NZ, my father and grandfather calved cows in the spring and dried off for Christmas, cows are off the 'milking platform' for winter regardless:rolleyes:, calves are out but in again:mad:, etc. Things that have improved are the budgeting, early and late grazing, therefore we're NZ:rolleyes:

    My point was this is a program about Irish dairy and the cliche thing it do is talk about NZ, instead of what we're doing, those NZ farmers in the program on the tour didn't feel like they were at home, infact they pointed out big differences. Small complaint, I enjoyed the show.


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