The Hannon dairy farm has increased herd size from 130 cows in 2008 to 235 today and the county Meath based farm will hold an open day to highlight the need for planned expansion.

Lakeland Dairies and Teagasc will host a joint open day on Wednesday August 26, at 11am in Derrypatrick, Drumree, Co. Meath to discuss and highlight how the Hannon family have expanded their dairy operation over the past seven years.

The timing of this event is perfect, says Lakeland Dairies, as farmers move into a new environment of expansion opportunities with the ever present risk of milk price volatility.

It says the event will highlight how good technical performance coupled with careful planning of farm structures are extremely important to the expanding dairy farm.

The Hannon farm is an excellent example of planned dairy expansion as the business has grown from 130 cows in 2008 to 235 cows in milk this year, it says.

It added that during this period of expansion the farm has dealt with the big issues that affect growing dairy herds.

These include cash flow and debt management, infrastructure costs, animal health and labour.

In addition to good business planning, the Hannons have implemented proven technologies for efficient milk production throughout the expansion phase, it says.

These technologies include grass management, high EBI genetics and herd fertility management. The importance of hitting key efficiency targets for expanding dairy farms will also be discussed.

Topics and speakers at the event include:
  • Managing labour during expansion – Pat Clarke, Teagasc and Martina Moran, Lakeland/Teagasc Joint Programme
  • Growing your business through collaboration  – Austin Finn, Land Mobility Service Programme Manager and Tom Curran, Teagasc
  • Planning farm infrastructure for increasing herd size – Donal Patton, Teagasc and Adrian McKeague, Lakeland/Teagasc Joint Programme
  • Financial Planning and Tax Issues – Declan McEvoy, Head of Tax, National Tax Department, IFAC Accountants and Enda Duffy Lakeland/Teagasc Joint Programme
  • Animal Health and Welfare in an expanding herd – Mr. Frank O’Sullivan, MVB, MRCVS
  • Summary session – Mr. Michael Hanley, CEO Lakeland Dairies, David Hannon and Joint Programme advisors