Father and son team Denis and Eddie O’Donnell claimed the dairy award and the overall award at a ceremony in Moorepark last Friday. The O’Donnells are milking 316 cows near Golden, Co Tipperary. There are 218 cows being milked on the home farm and 98 cows being milked on a leased unit six miles away in Dundrum.
Over 17t of grass dry matter is grown per hectare. The cows are on course to produce over 500kg of milk solids each and meal feeding levels are less than 500kg per cow. The empty rate this year is 7% after 12 weeks of breeding. Calf mortality is less than 3%. The farm has two employees, Jeremy Furlong and Philip Roche, as well as student help, and the average working week is 48 hours per person. While the above is excellent, the O’Donnells won the award for the way they manage grass. This is Eddie’s big passion. All the cows calve on the home farm and he is responsible for giving them grass in spring.