Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

Prolific herd winner aims to expand to over 120 cows

Eamon McLoughney winner of the National Herd Competition (Spring Section).
Eamon McLoughney winner of the National Herd Competition (Spring Section).

Being ranked among the elite herd owners in the IHFA National Herds Competition has become a familiar place to north Tipperary dairy farmer, Eamon McLoughney.

When he was presented with the trophy for the overall winner of the Spring Section for his herd of 95 cows with an average yield of 10,000kgs at 4pc butterfat and 3.4pc protein, he was receiving the award for the sixth time in a decade.

In between the herd was runner-up twice and third in the category once.

Eamon farms at Ardcroney, Nenagh and in a post-quota environment is planning to expand the herd to 120 cows over the next two years.

"Going above 120 cows I won't be able to manage on my own and that will require consideration of the labour requirements which I will have to carefully consider before taking that step," he said.

"What scale will I have to go to, so as to justify the additional cost of a labour unit while maintaining family income - that is what I have to ask myself," he confessed.

Meanwhile, the winner of the ovetall award for herds of more than 70 cows, Paul Hannan said he has no immediate plan to increase the size of the 110 cow herd but he will be "looking at further improving the solids".

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