Global milking technology leader, DeLaval has outlined its plans for growth in Co Fermanagh following its appearance at the Balmoral Show in the company of Fermanagh farmer and award winning ice-cream maker, Gareth Grey.
Gareth and his brother, Marcus use a DeLaval Voluntary Milking System (VMS) at the family farm located in Killadeas outside Irvinestown.
They are best known for their artisan Tickety Moo Ice-Cream which scooped the Open Flavour Award at the National Ice-Cream Competition earlier this year. The competition is organised by the Ice-Cream Alliance – the trade association for the UK’s £1billion ice-cream industry.
The Greys have run Oghill Farm since 1798 and in October of 2014, they decided to invest in a DeLaval robotic milking system. This means their herd of 210 Jersey cows can choose when they want to be milked and also enjoy a cow management system which caters for the needs of a grass-based milk production system. The DeLaval machine can direct milked cows to the next paddock allowing most effective management of grassland while if a cow needs attention, she will be directed to a segregation area and the farmer will be alerted.
“The result is that our cows don’t get stressed and this results in a high-quality milk which is ideal for our premium ice-creams,” said Gareth Grey. He said the system whereby cows can have themselves milked voluntarily is allowing some livestock to be milked up to six times a day if required whereas the labour demands of manual milking would have only allowed this happen twice a day.
DeLaval robotic milking systems are transforming the face of dairy farming across Fermanagh and further afield. It is responsible for delivering 38% of Ireland’s milk pool each year. That’s more than 380,000 cows on almost 6,500 farms on the island being milked by DeLaval technology with the company having very ambitious plans for growth in the pipeline at an exciting time for dairying in Fermanagh.