Teagasc farms explore option of contract rearing for their own male dairy calves

Last year, Teagasc opted to contract rear male calves – up to weaning – on Shinagh Dairy Farm in Bandon, Co. Cork. These calves were subsequently sold at approximately two months-of-age. They were predominantly made up of crossbred calves (Friesian-cross-Jersey); but some were not.

Shinagh Dairy Farm was established in 2011 as a farming venture between the four west Cork co-ops – Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird – in conjunction with Carbery and Teagasc.

AgriLand now understands that a similar arrangement is under consideration by Teagasc this year, whereby a number of farmers would contract rear Teagasc male dairy-origin calves for the coming (spring 2020) season.

It is understood that these male dairy calves will be contract reared up to 13-14 months-of-age, when they will then be sold in marts. Up to 500 calves – we believe – may be reared. They will, apparently, be a mixture of Friesian, crossbreds and dairy-beef crosses.

Milk Price Tracker

In other dairy news, don’t miss our Milk Price Tracker in which we bring you the most recent milk prices – from the most significant Irish dairy co-ops.

Also Read: Milk Price Tracker: Which co-ops top the league?

This table is now available on a month-by-month basis – enabling suppliers (dairy farmers) to track prices paid right across the industry.

Not only does the table enable a supplier to see what his or her own co-op is paying, but they also provide visibility of what competing co-ops are paying – on a like-for-like basis.

The project is being undertaken in conjunction with the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting on the latest milk prices, ICMSA dairy chairperson, Gerald Quain, expressed satisfaction that milk purchasers and co-ops have somewhat raised their base milk price; but noted that considerable scope remained for further improvements in the coming months.