Munster Bovine Reach Half a Million Cows Milk Recorded 2021
This week the Munster Bovine Milk Recording team hit a very significant milestone having milk recorded a half a million cows so far in 2021. Interestingly when we collaborated with ICBF to identify on which farm this record originated from, it was to the team’s delight that it happened on the farm of a Munster Bovine AI Technician Micheal Durack. Micheal has been an AI Technician with Munster Bovine for fourteen years and Micheal’s son Cathal has also joined the Munster team this year as a trainee AI Technician. We travelled to Co. Clare to acknowledge Micheal’s part in this huge team accomplishment.
Micheal’s dairy farm is located in an idyllic setting, on the shores of Lough Derg in Mountshannon Co. Clare where he is currently milking 94 cows. Micheal uses the highest EBI sires available from Munster Bovine each year on his Spring calving herd where he typically goes out to grass around the 15th of February. Micheal has been milk recording for more than ten years with Munster Bovine. A manual milk recording customer, Micheal records four times a year and finds the information available in the milk recording reports hugely beneficial for monitoring his production and cell count. Micheal explains to Enda O Gorman, Farm Relationship Manager, Clare & Galway, “Of all the things that we do here on our farm, Milk Recording is a really essential activity and something that we wouldn’t stop. Each year I go through my milk recording reports and I select my highest EBI cows that are the best performers on my farm as the dams of my replacements. We’re delighted that the Durack Farm is part of this great milestone of more than half a million cows recorded by Munster Bovine and we wish all the milk recording team every success going forward”.
Enda O’Gorman, Farm Relationship Manager, Munster Bovine pictured with Micheal Durack on his farm in Mountshannon Co. Clare.
Since 2019, the Herd Management team in Munster Bovine report that there has been an almost 18% increase in the number of cows being milk recorded across the Munster and Galway territory. The completion of 500,000 cows milk recorded so far this year is a culmination of a huge team effort. This figure equates to approximately a third of the dairy herd in Ireland and highlights the huge commitment at farm level to Milk recording. Customers have embraced the service and through integrating it into their milking routine, we have been able to really improve the national picture in terms of the number of participants in the programme.
It is also extremely heartening to see the commitment which the Co-Ops have given to their own sustainability initiatives which has played a huge part in growing the number of cows that are now being milk recorded.
Reaching a figure such as this is only achievable through a massive collaborative team effort. Our team of milk recorders, EDIY technicians, the entire Herd management customer support team in addition to the teams in the laboratories and the team in ICBF responsible for the production of the milk recording reports have all shown a real commitment to the delivery of a quality service for our farmer customers.
It is becoming very apparent that milk recording is going to play a critical role in helping famers and the industry achieve sustainability goals in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of a kg of milk solids and decreasing the reliance on antibiotics. Micheal uses his milk recording results to track production and to maintain a low SCC. Micheal’s herd has an EBI of €166 which is in the top 10% in the country. The focus is on breeding a fertile and compact black and white cow with good percentages and kgs of fat and protein. Milk recording has played a key role in helping Micheal make good breeding decisions and in managing the herd to maximise its genetic potential. He is certainly reaping the rewards with compact spring calving and excellent production with the cows on target to comfortably supply over 500kgs of milk solids to Kerry again in 2021 .
Mary O’Keeffe Herd management manger with Munster Bovine reflects on this milestone figure “
2020 was a very challenging year for the entire milk recording team with service stoppages and restarts owing to the COVID pandemic. Every member of the team worked tirelessly to ensure the continuity of milk recording services once manual milk recording was resumed. It is great to see that we are reaching so many farms even during the most extreme of circumstances and this is all down to our team. There is no doubt that we see a greater appreciation for milk recording information at farm level. We hear it time and time again from our farmer customers how invaluable the service is to them. Looking at the challenges facing herd owners in the next few years in relation to reducing antibiotic use on farm, the need to milk more efficient cows from a carbon viewpoint, and ensuring a healthier herd going forward, milk recording is absolutely key to addressing these challenges.”