I farm: “33.5ha of my own land in Ballydehob, Co Cork. I’m milking 42 spring-calving cows. I have 11 weanling replacements and eight in-calf heifers.”

Breeds: “I’ve a mixed herd. There’s some Jersey genetics, but it’s mostly Holstein breeding. We do 100% AI here, no bull.”

Scanning: “I had a 16% empty rate this year; the weather might have played a part. In the future, I might look at getting collars in. For the first three weeks of breeding, we use dairy straws, then we use beef straws.”

This week: “I’m walking paddocks and keeping an eye on grass quality. The weather is challenging. I’ve a dry farm, but I’m keeping an eye on the ground conditions. My focus will soon turn to drying off cows.”

Silage: “I buy in a lot of silage and my first cut was down on what we made last year.”

Milk price: “Like most farmers, it’s been a challenging year. It’s a tightening-of-the-belt type of year. Investment has been put on the back burner. I was going to convert a cubicle house into a calf house, but that’s not happening this year. I supply Drinagh and got 44c/l for milk this August – last year I was getting 68c/l.”

Expansion: “We’ve a bit of an issue here with milk yields, so I’m trying to increase the yields. We’ve good percentages, but the volume isn’t there. My mindset is there’s no point expanding until I improve that. I find myself thinking that I’d love to go to 60 cows, but with the challenges ahead, if I can get 42 cows performing well, there’s no need to be expanding.”

Climate: “Every farmer is doing their part to combat climate change. I’ve spread protected urea for the last two years. There’s two clover swards on the farm and I put in a multispecies sward in late June. It’s working well so far.”