'More information and less protesting is what's needed'
My week: Eoghan McCarthy
Information, information, information are three well used words of Eoghan McCarthy who is constantly on the hunt for new ways to reduce costs inside the farm gate.
"There's nothing you can do about the weather or global milk prices, but there is a lot you can do about your costs on farm," Eoghan says with the infectious passion of the converted.
"Moorepark is a serious source of information if you want to get farm costs down. There are courses on EBI and grassland management, and the co-ops are good at getting the latest farming information out to farmers. I only wish the farm organisations were as good at getting the information out as they are about protesting," he adds.
The 41-year-old farms 135 acres (owned and rented) at Callinasercy near Killorglin, in Co Kerry, which has been operating as a dairy enterprise for three generations of the McCarthys.
A further 30 acres is rented a few miles up the road to boost the grassland available to the herd of 120 Holstein Friesians. They average 6,300 litres per cow, which goes to Kerry group.
He will dry off his herd in a fortnight's time and resume spring calving at the start of February.
"You need to cut costs and eliminate inefficiencies on farm, and all the information is there from the various agencies to help. It should be used by farmers," Eoghan adds.
He employs an extra hand on the farm through the Farm Relief Service during the spring and when he is away from Callinasercy. He also takes care of an agricultural student on secondment every year. "I also employ local good contractors," he adds.