“Nedap allows me to be free to spend time with the family”
Ballinasloe, County Roscommon, Ireland
About the farm
- 120 dairy cows
- Spring calving based
- Grazing system
“We completed a 100% submission rate in less than four weeks, which we could never come near that before.”
Enda Doran runs a grass based dairy farm of 120 British-Frisian Holsteiner cross cows in County Roscommon, in the west of Ireland. He’s a new entrant and started dairy farming in 2016. He is no stranger to farming though, having been a suckler and sheep farmer in the past.
Submission rates went up immediately
“Since I went into dairy, I wasn’t long learning that fertility is one of the key drivers of the farm’s profitability”, Enda says. “That is the main reason I went with Nedap CowControl, as fertility was an issue on the farm.” Previously, Enda would rely on tailpaint but was not overly successful. Submission rates were about 50% in three weeks.
Since installing Nedap, it was already up to 97% in the first spring. “And we completed a 100% submission rate in less than four weeks, which we could never come near that before with the old system.”
Enda explains how the Nedap system has changed the way he handles AI on the farm. “I check the system on my phone before I leave the house in the morning. And it will alert me to what cows are cycling and in heat, and the optimum time they should be inseminated. We AI our own cows, so I can do that in the morning. But if I’m not happy or not 100% certain on the graph, I can let her run on for a few more hours and inseminate again in the evening.”
“We find with missed cycles that there is a loss in production of an average of €250 (or $277) per cow.”
“If you take this in account, the investment in the system is paid back within a short time.”
Saving time and labor
Besides improved fertility numbers, Enda finds himself saving a lot of time and labor. “Before we had the Nedap system, I found that in mornings I was gone early, trying to monitor cows in the fields. In the evening you’re never finished, you are back down at night, monitoring for half an hour to an hour, then you had to go and check on a bunch of heifers.”
An unexpected use of the health monitoring quickly arose as well: “It wasn’t bought as a tool for alerting us when cows are calving but we find that it alerts us when cows aren’t eating, which usually happens a day before calving. So we pin those cows that we find that have no appetite, and within 24 hours we find that the majority will calf.”
Monitoring cows on the phone
Enda continues: “With the Nedap system, we can switch off in the evening. I’ve got a young family, so there’s always activities to go to. When I’m not in the fields I can monitor cows on the phone, I will get alerts if there’s problems with cows eating. So once you’ve finished your daily tasks, you really are finished.”
“We hope to increase the herd to 150 cows in the next year, and we hope to do so without extra workload. We feel that Nedap will help us to get there. I count it as a crucial part of running the farm and I have a 100% confidence in the system.”
Read more success stories
See more Nedap technology in action across farms in Ireland:
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