'I will expand as far as I can but I will do it gradually'
My week: Ian Kelleher
Published 12/11/2016 | 07:00
The weather has been perfect recently down in Athlacca in Co Limerick where Ian Kelleher takes care of 100 high EBI Friesians and a family of three youngsters on the 100ac home farm plus an additional 70ac of rented ground.
"The cows are out grazing away. They are flying it. The weather has been dry, bright and cracking down in this part of Limerick. It's dry land here and it's been no bother unlike some other parts along the western coastline," says Ian.
The herd average 5,500 litres per cow and he supplies the Kerry Group.
"We've had a rough couple of years on prices but they have been improving over the past while and I expect they will improve further as we go into next year," Ian says.
Ian is optimistic enough about the returns from his dairy farm that he intends to add an additional 10 cows on an annual basis over the next few years.
"I'll expand as far as I can but I will do it gradually. About 10 cows a year and I'll wipe out late calving on the farm," says the 36 year old.
Ian is married to Ber (Bernadette) and they have three children - Maeve (8), Liam (7) and Aine (5) -- and he has yet to spot which one of the youngsters will turn out to be a farmer.
"They like being out on the farm, but at the moment that just means myself or Ber have to follow them around to make sure they are safe," he says.