Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Instagram: See inside Roscommon dairy farmer Ed Payne's once-a-day set up

Aidan Brosnan, farm manager on Ed Payne's farm in Roscommon. To see Ed's farm click on the Instagram logo on the bottom right of this page
Aidan Brosnan, farm manager on Ed Payne's farm in Roscommon. To see Ed's farm click on the Instagram logo on the bottom right of this page
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Today we're out on the farm of Ed Payne, a dairy farmer in Roscommon who has two herds - one milking the traditional twice a day and the other once a day.

Ed who runs Hilltop Dairies with his parents in Roscommon converted to dairying from suckler and sheep in 2011. Since February 2018 the family have been milking two units.

Two thirds of the cows on the farm are milked twice a day and one third once a day. Speaking recently at a Teagasc once-a-day milking seminar, Ed said it's important that farmers know their 'whys' before they embark on once-a-day milking.

He said in his family's situation, it was a whole business decision and means a lot less stress for his family. "For us it's about business flexibility and we also asked the question 'why not?'"

"We'd seen other once-a-day farms and wondered could we do that?" 

The farm has been operating its outside farm on a once-a-day system for the past 12 months and now the farm is concentrating on finding a core group of once-a-day cows that are most suited to the system.

He also said the farm is looking to improve its improve grassland management, with 40pc of the OAD farm reseeded.

As for the ideal once-a-day cow, he says "I don't care what jacket the cow wears as long as she does the job right. We have a large pool of cows and only time will tell what cow will be the perfect cow for OAD.

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"She must perform on paper and in the parlour." 

At the moment, the twice a day farm is the back bone, he says, and the bread and butter for the farm.

To see Ed's farm click on the Instagram logo on the bottom right of this page

Online Editors