See inside this 230-crossbred cow dairy farm with an EBI of €157
Shinagh Dairy Farm is achieving 11pc return on capital on leased ground
Shinagh Dairy Farm was set up in 2011 as part of a collaborative project between the four west Cork Co-Ops - Bandon, Barryroe, Lisavaird, and Drinagh, in conjunction with Carbery and Teagasc.
The farm is located just outside of Bandon town in the heart of West Cork.
The farm is leasing 78ha off Shinagh estates, which is owned by the four west Cork co-ops, and is currently in year eight of its 15-year lease.
Shinagh Dairy Farm invested €820,000 converting the farm and stocking it. This included the price of reseeding the farm, of which 75pc was reseeded between 2010 and 2011, converting the wintering facilities, creating roadways and €210,000 that was spent on the 20-unit parlour, built in the middle of the grazing platform.
This investment was funded partially by the west Cork co-ops, which funded the farm €260,000 of equity by the west Cork co-ops and borrowed a further €560,000. The farm is paying the rent, labour, no single farm payment and now have accumulated €520,000 of cash.
Kevin Ahern, the Farm Manager is the only full-time staff working on the farm, but the farm does hire a student for three months for the calving and breeding season. Contractors take care of the winter feeding, fertiliser, baling and slurry on the farm, and all calves are contract reared.
Currently, the 230-crossbred cow herd stands at an EBI of €157, weighing more towards fertility with €64 devoted to this. The average calving interval is 370 days and some 93pc of the herd is calved down in the first six weeks.
“EBI is where we’re going with the breeding. We’re using fertile bulls and we’re chasing the milk solids all the time,” said the Farm Manager.