Interest in the practice of once-a-day (OAD) milking continues to grow, according to Teagasc.
The practice, Teagasc outlined, is sometimes considered as an option in situations where labour is in short supply, the farm layout means that cows have long walks to and from the parlour, or where reducing the number of milkings carried out is attractive from a lifestyle perspective.
To address the topic, Teagasc is hosting a conference on Wednesday, 15 January at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Thurles, starting at 12.30 pm.
Announcing details of the event, Brian Hilliard Teagasc dairy advisor, said: “This is the third year that we’ve organised a once-a-day milking conference.”
“We’re seeing increasing interest in the practice. It doesn’t come without its challenges, most notably around maintaining a low somatic cell count, and there is a penalty in terms of milk solids production.”
“On a positive note; however, we are seeing improved cow condition and fertility, and the lifestyle benefit is considerable,” Hilliard added.
Advisors, groups and events
According to Tom O’Dwyer, Dairy Knowledge Transfer Programme manager, “Teagasc has four dairy advisors who are the liaison advisory people for farmers involved in, or considering, OAD milking.”
“This year, in addition to running two dedicated OAD discussion groups, they ran four OAD events on dairy farms for interested farmers,” O’Dwyer added.
Five speakers will address the conference:
- Keith Davies who milks 800 cows OAD in two herds in Gloucestershire, UK;
- Brian Hilliard, Teagasc, will review the physical and financial performance of Irish OAD dairy farmers in 2019;
- Emer Kennedy will present the results of year-one of the OAD dairy herd at Teagasc Moorepark;
- Catherine and Liam Millerick will discuss their decision to go OAD, current performance and future plans for their 125-cow cross-bred herd in Tipperary;
- Patrick Gowing, Teagasc, will discuss the economic, lifestyle and financial outcomes of decisions around choosing twice daily, OAD or robotic milk production systems.