Farm Ireland

Monday 19 February 2018

'I'll adapt farm to suit our needs'

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Paddy's father Jim passed away in 2002, leaving a herd of 17 dairy cows and a flock of sheep on a 10ac block of land surrounding the Kennedy home.

Within a decade, Paddy had increased the herd size to 80 cows, supplying 56,000 gallons of milk annually to Glanbia.

However 10 days ago, Paddy decided to sell off his milking herd.

"I got a letter telling me I was over quota and the cheque was being stopped from now on, so I decided to sell the cows and give myself a chance to adapt the farm a bit more to suit me," he explains.

Some 67 in-calf milking cows were offered for sale on the farm, while 13 cows were culled. The milkers sold for up to €1,500 each.

Paddy is now left with 22 in-calf heifers and 44 weanling heifers that will be ready to go to the bull next spring. The in-calf heifers will be leased out to a neighbour for 2014 and return to the Kennedy parlour in 2015, just in time for the first quota-free year of milk production.

"In the meantime, I can do a few jobs around the yard and parlour that will get me set up right for 2015," says Paddy. "And we've got plenty of work with the sheds to get on with!"

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