'The cull could be promising for our new venison line'
My week: Denis Carroll, farmer, Killarney, Co Kerry Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb
Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30
Things are getting busy down on Denis Carroll's mixed farm just outside Killarney with some 50 Scotch ewes being sent to the ram next week while a further batch from the 150-strong flock are due to lamb themselves in the run-up to Christmas.
And then there is the daily round of milking a 58-strong herd of Holsteins to say of nothing of his commitments to the Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb group who are producing prime product for restaurants and hotels in Kerry and Dublin and also exporting to London.
Denis took over the home farm from his parents, Daniel and Francis - who bought the property as returning emigrants from the United States in the sixties - on what he calls "the most auspicious day of January 1, 1984 when the EU milk quota regime was first introduced".
"What a day to start wearing wellingtons on a full-time basis," he remembers.
So is he impressed by the milk price being paid by the Kerry group now that we are in the post-quota era?
"Absolutely not. They are paying 24c/l and 34c/l on the fixed price on 20pc of the milk. It should be up in the mid-thirties," he says with an accusatory firmness.
Denis, who is married to Kay, a medical secretary, and has two daughters - Denise, a teacher, and Michelle, who is studying to be a dietician - is helped on the 130-acre enterprise by his son, Shane, a 22-year-old student completing his Green Cert studies part-time at Pallaskenry in Limerick.
"I do the milking and Shane does the grassland management," he says of the division of the farmyard workload.