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My farming week: Thomas Duffy, Edenburt, Virginia, Co Cavan
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My farming week: Thomas Duffy, Edenburt, Virginia, Co Cavan

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Thomas Duffy is a young dairy farmer from Co Cavan who farms in partnership with his parents Kathleen and Ned. He spoke to Anthony Jordan about his farming week.
Thomas Duffy is a young dairy farmer from Co Cavan who farms in partnership with his parents Kathleen and Ned. He spoke to Anthony Jordan about his farming week.

I farm: “About 55ha (136 acres) of good ground. I am in a partnership with my mother, Kathleen, and my father, Ned. We have a 10-unit Dairymaster parlour for milking.”

Dairy: “We have 90 cows milking at the moment. They are a mix of Norwegian Red, Jerseys, Montbéliarde X and pedigree Holsteins.”

Performance: “The cows are performing at 3.3% protein and 4.2% fat.”

Calving: “We have been hectic for the last few weeks. We have had 87 calves so far, so we are just about finished up. We would sell off our Angus calves at 14 to 21 days and we’d be fetching between €220 and €250 for them.”

This week: “With the calving finished up, I started to focus on the breeding plan. We have been analysing where we went right and wrong last year and seeing if we can improve, so that will take the best part of five days.”

Holland: “I went to Holland recently with Lely, and it was a real eye-opener. I was amazed to see how little meal is fed versus how much milk is produced. They place a huge focus on their forage. We can learn a lot from that here.”

1916 commemoration: “A huge part of it for me was how little I knew about it all. When I heard the Proclamation being read, it highlighted to me how forward-thinking it was in terms of equality. From a farming sense, there is so much inequality built into the system, so in that sense we have a long way to go to achieve what the Proclamation wants us to.”

Family: “There is my father, Ned, my mother, Kathleen, and my sister, Kaye, who recently got engaged.”

Quotable quote: “We have already gone through our expansion phase. From now on, we are focusing on getting better, rather than bigger. Improving efficiency has become our main goal.”

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