I farm: ”105ac and lease a further 80ac beside the milking platform with my wife Deirdre and children Ruth and Conor. There are 150 Friesian cows in the milking herd and all the maiden heifers are contract-reared in Cavan.”

Breeding: “Has been going well the last two weeks; this year I have collars on the cows and a drafting gate, so I’m seeing a lot more bulling than most years. All the heifers get sexed semen and 25 of the cows. I AI all the cows myself. Beef bulls are used on the rest of the cows, I find the continental calves make a good price averaging €130-140.”

Students: “I have two students that help me out; Laura Sullivan did her TY work experience on the farm and Alanna Burns did her UCD dairy placement. Both have since stayed on milking, as they have a keen interest in dairying.”

Water quality: “Having previously been a winner of the Lakeland milk quality award, I recently hosted a farm walk on water quality. I am in derogation a few years and have stitched clover in over 15ac and have a paddock of multi species swards. I only use protected urea and LESS for slurry, fences have been moved 1.5m from drains and the two bridges on the farm have been curbed with runoff directed into the fields.”

Milk price:”It has improved this year, the cows have been inside for a long time, but the milk yield has gone up since they have been out the last two weeks. A milk recording was done in April and another one is due soon. The cell count on the problem cows has gone down since they have gone outside.”

This week:”I have some silage bales made, but we are getting the pit ready this week as we will be starting to mow soon, I am reseeding another paddock and will stitch in clover.”