McLarnon prize winners at Winter Fair

David Mawhinney presents Richard Shepherd, Ballyronan, with a �100 voucher for Fresh Start cow drink, provided by Premier Nutrition.
David Mawhinney presents Richard Shepherd, Ballyronan, with a �100 voucher for Fresh Start cow drink, provided by Premier Nutrition.
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The free prize draw on the McLarnon Feeds stand at the Winter Fair proved, as always, to be a popular attraction.

All entrants had the chance to win one of seven £100 vouchers, kindly provided by AB Vista, Premier Nutrition, Barenbrug UK, Provimi, Devenish Nutrition, Trouw Nutrition and McLarnon Feeds.

The prize winners were: Trevor McNeilly, Randalstown; Ian McClelland, Banbridge; Danny McKay, Rathkenny; Michael Murray, Randalstown; Matthew Irvine, Magheralin; Richard Shepherd, Ballyronan; Dermot McCarthy, Kircubbin.

David Mawhinney, McLarnon’s Ruminant Business Manager, said: “Congratulations to the seven prize winners on their success in this year’s competition. On behalf of McLarnon Feeds, I would like to thank our suppliers who kindly donated the £100 vouchers and made this year’s prize draw possible. I would also like to thank all the farmers who visited the McLarnon stand at the Winter Fair to discuss the issues affecting their dairy enterprises.”

Ronald Annett, Ruminant Technical Manager at McLarnon Feeds, added: “The past year has been extremely challenging for the dairy sector, and the prospects for 2016 are equally difficult. But the start of a New Year is a good time to really challenge your dairy system, to identify any ‘hidden’ costs, and to fine tune your management to squeeze out some extra margin.”

The main advice from McLarnon Feeds is to:

l Maximize feed efficiency by feeding to yield as far as possible using computerized feeding systems or tail tape and grouping cows, if possible, in a TMR situation.

l Focus on improving cow health and fertility to reduce ‘hidden’ costs. Get tough on lameness and mastitis, work on improving heat detection, and give more attention to transition cow management.

l Pay closer attention to milk quality.

l Eliminate passengers from the herd, especially the repeat offenders (lameness, poor fertility, chronic mastitis).

l Improve youngstock rearing and target calving at 24 months.

l Plan to grow more grass in the spring and utilize it better.

For further advice contact your local McLarnon Feeds Adviser (details on www.mclarnonfeeds.com) or ring the office on 028 796 50321.