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My farming week: Padraig Ó Scanaill, Swords, Co Dublin
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My farming week: Padraig Ó Scanaill, Swords, Co Dublin

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After an award-winning week for Co Dublin dairy farmer Padraig Ó Scanaill, it's back to the routine of milking cows.
After an award-winning week for Co Dublin dairy farmer Padraig Ó Scanaill, it's back to the routine of milking cows.

I farm: “In Swords, Co Dublin. I think there are 19 [milk] suppliers left in north Co Dublin. I’ve no neighbours with cattle; orchards on one side, horses on another and the town is on the other.”

System: “This morning I milked 70 cows. I do liquid milk and I have about 75% or 80% of it on contract. We have only a small herd calving in the autumn and it’s the spring herd that is growing.”

Cow type: “It’s a Holstein Friesian herd.”

Performance: “I’m getting 8,800 litres off the cows. We have been doing 2kg of milk solids per day all the time this year. We’re about 3.5% on the protein and up around 4% on the butterfat. We’re only after falling since they came in.”

Genetics: “We’re driving for protein and butterfat and I never was before. We’re pushing big time for fertility too.

Breeding: “I was getting such a bad run on the ground of Friesian bull calves that I went totally sexed semen. I’m getting better results in the autumn. The conception rate is more difficult but I’m far better off. I’ve more heifers now in a batch rather than getting one heifer in a batch of three bulls.”

Best feeling on the farm: “When you calve a cow and you come back down to the yard and she’s standing and it’s a Friesian heifer.”

Dairying in Dublin: “I’m slow at the milking. I’m probably the best part of two hours but I don’t have any traffic jams getting in and out of work like people who live beside me.”

CellCheck awards: “Delighted, absolutely delighted. It’s a hell of an achievement but it’s as a result of all the hard work the Glanbia team has done. All we did was educate ourselves on what Glanbia told us and went home and did the dirty work.”

Farming mentality: “We take great pride in what we do. If it was about money, I’d be gone years ago.”

Quotable quote: “What’s my cell count? If a priest asked me that in confession, I don’t think I’d answer him.”

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