Top beef producer converts to dairying
One of the country's top beef producers has taken the first steps towards converting his farm into a dairy unit.
Bernard Ging is one of the original 12 high-profile beef farmers taking part in Teagasc's BETTER farm programme aimed at highlighting ways of making beef farming more profitable.
Despite being one of the most profitable farms in the programme, Mr Ging wants to convert his 260ac, 130 suckler cow unit at Straboe, near Portlaoise, Co Laois, into a dairy farm.
"The main focus on the farm is looking at the potential move from beef into dairy," he said.
"I am working through a range of options with the support of the BETTER farm team. What I am doing is not for everybody but the farm is well set up to facilitate dairying."
A planning application for a milking parlour with a covered waiting yard, livestock handling facilities and cubicle house, dairy, office, store and plant room was lodged with Laois County Council last week.
He hopes to secure an initial allocation of 200,000 litres of quota to allow him to start milking 45 cows.
"I'm not saying this is for everyone, but it's my way of driving on the business," he said.