Reducing cow numbers in order to run an easier more sustainable system for their family business was the decision taken by Laois dairy farmer Bobby Hovenden. The dairy farm went from milking 163 cows at peak to 114 in 2022. Like many farmers the Hovendens used the quota removal to push up cow numbers. In the years leading up to quota abolition, around 100 black and white cows were milked. “There is a lot of talk about sustainability in farming. They’re talking about sustainability from an environmental perspective. I made the decision in 2019 to adopt a sustainable farming system for me,” said Bobby.