Achieve work-life balance with once-a-day milking

Jun 17, 2018, 09:17 PM

On this week's episode of The Dairy Edge podcast, we hear from Dairy Farmer Gillian O'Sullivan about how once-a-day milking helps her family achieve work life balance.

Gillian is farming near Dungarvan with husband Neil and father Michael. Gillian and Neil began dairy farming almost 10 years ago, and credits her father's wealth of knowledge, their local dairy advisor Brian Hilliard and other farmers at discussion groups and events as the main source of information when entering farming.

Gillian explains the benefits of the once-a-day milking systems with particular emphasis on the positive effect on labour and the benefits it confers for their young family as well as positive health and fertility benefits for their cows.

Milk solids took a 20% hit in the first year of once-a-day milking but recovered in Year 3 to levels of 365 kg milk solids - similar to what they produced twice-a-day. They have now exceeded this performance, delivering almost 390 kg milk solids in 2017. Gillian emphasises how the A+B-C payment system is advantageous to them with 9% milk constituents and lower milk volume.

For more information:

Selection of dairy cows for once-a-day milking https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/publications/2018/Breeding-for-Once-a-Day-Milking---Donagh-Berry.pdf

Economic implications of transitioning from twice-a-day to once-a-day:

https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/publications/2018/Economics-of-transitioning-to-Once-A-Day-Milking---George-Ramsbottom.pdf