I farm: “85ha in partnership with my father, George, in Kilcolgan, Galway. It’s a mixture of leased and owned land.”

The herd: ”We’re dairy farming and milking 144 cows, mainly Holstein Friesian, but there was some crossbreeding in the past. We’ve gone away from that now and we are back breeding just black and white. We’re highly stocked. We have a stocking rate of 4.3LU/ha on a 33ha milking platform.”

Enda farms in partnership with his father George. \ Sean Lydon

At the moment: “We scanned the cows and heifers last week. We do a 10-week breeding season, four weeks of AI and six weeks of stock bulls to clean up. We only had an empty rate of 9.7% so we were very happy with that. We are vaccinating all the breeding stock for salmonella. We’re just finished the last round of fertiliser to keep the grass going. Grass is key to survival in this game and we need to grow as much grass as we can.”

The Armstrongs scanned the cows last week. \ Sean Lydon

Breeding: ”It’s a nice tight breeding season. We are aiming to do it in the 10 weeks so that we have that bit of a break between calving and getting back into the breeding season, just to refresh and regenerate so that we’re not burnt out.”

Nitrates: “We are concerned about nitrates. Shortening the slurry spreading and the fertiliser is going to be tough because we calve early. We have a high demand for grass early in the year. We need to have grass by February, and if the proposed new fertiliser dates come in we could be restricted to only putting out the fertiliser in February. It’ll be tougher to have the grass in the springtime when we need it.”

Enda says he is happy with his herd size at the moment. \ Sean Lydon

Slurry storage: “Storage is going to be a big issue but we have just received grant approval for a new shed. Storage is a big cost, especially nowadays with the price of materials gone through the roof. The pricing for the grants are all outdated now. The steel for the shed has gone up by 28%.”

Enda in the parlour on the farm in Galway. \ Sean Lydon

Future plans: “Quality rather than quantity. I’m different to most young farmers. Numbers aren’t driving me. I’m not trying to get bigger, I’m happy with the herd size as it is.”

Quotable quote: “Grass quality, grazing at the right height and the right residuals is the key to performance.”