Tommy and Mary Ormond are farming at Loughmore, Co Tipperary, with daughters, Sara Jayne and Moira. Tommy returned home from college and took over the family farm in 2005. At the time, the farm had 50 cows and followers. Today, they are milking 110 cows.
Tommy has a love for Pure Friesian cattle and with the Dovea AI station just over the road, Tommy has tried to keep close to the best Pure Friesian lines he can get his hands on.
EBI is still in the decision-making mix to help and improving milk solids remains the primary breeding goal. Some red Friesian sires are used also.
A proportion of the bull calves are reared to beef on an outside block of land that Tommy uses mainly for silage and for rearing replacements.
You might see an odd Irish draught filly thrown in to add a splash of colour, and if that wasn’t enough colour you could meet a purebred Hereford as well. Between British Friesians, Irish draughts and Herefords it’s easy to join the dots that this farmer has a keen interest in breeding and is maybe willing to sacrifice some commercial gain to feed his passion.
Herd EBI is €136, rising to €142 for the 2021-born calves. Milk produced is close to 480kg of milk solids per cow on 850kg of meal fed per cow.
Tommy planned and developed his cubicle and slurry storage system very well adjacent to the farmyard.
Tommy does most of the milking himself
He has also recently invested in a new calf shed that gives him plenty of capacity for young calves in his spring-calving operation.
The next project is a milking parlour and while the current eight-unit herringbone works perfectly well, and is obviously delivering the goods, now that there are 110 cows going through the parlour Tommy is keen to upgrade to reduce time spent in the parlour. Tommy does most of the milking himself.
Most of the slurry is spread with a trailing shoe by a contractor. Tommy has started using some protected urea, but mostly uses a compound. Total area farmed is 90ha with 53ha available to the cows. This means Tommy doesn’t max out on artificial nitrogen and spreads about 150kg of nitrogen per hectare.
Tommy is working on getting more clover in the sward.