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Thursday 8 December 2016

Cavan farmer says win is down to 'high-energy diet'

Patsy McArdle

Published 12/07/2011 | 05:00

A Co Cavan dairy farmer, who has retained the top prize in the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) herds' competition, says a 'high energy diet' has done the trick to enable his cows to claim the top award.

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Damien Wynne from Slievebricken, Ballyconnell, was presented with the National Herds Prize at last week's IHFA Open Day event.

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Mr Wynne, who is a Lakeland Dairies supplier, says he is thrilled by the performance he is getting from his cows which have "predominantly Canadian genetics".

The national average yield is somewhere around 7,000kg of milk per cow, but Mr Wynne says he achieves a yield of more than 12,000kg.

He says the real secret of his success is the fact that he opts for a high-energy diet for his herd.

"I try to manage the cows in such a way that I get optimum performance, production wise." he said.

Mr Wynne's 60-strong herd is set on a lower stocking level than his 120ac farm can carry, and he supplements their diet by buffer feeding, with haylage and maize, at night.

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Energy

He said he firmly believes his goal of retaining a winning herd on the Co Cavan border farm is really achieved through getting a high level of energy into the cows "at all times".

Despite some current difficulties in the farming and dairying sector, Mr Wynne insists he is quite optimistic about the future of Irish dairy farming.

With young men now getting involved in dairying better trained than those in the past, he is confident that, with greater cost effectiveness, they can still turn dairying into a successful outlet.

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