Farming & Fisheries

Ballinhassig brothers are regional winners in Dairygold milk awards

August 5th, 2021 11:45 AM

By Emma Connolly

On the Murphy’s farm in Skehanagh, Ballinhassig, were (back row, left to right) Maeve O’Connor, Dairygold; Richard Hinchion, Dairygold board member; Brendan Hinchion, Dairygold board member; Billy Cronin, Dairygold; (front row, left to right) Michael and John Murphy.

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BALLINHASSIG brothers, Micheal and John Murphy of Skehanagh, Ballinhassig, have been declared the mid-Cork regional winners in the 2020 Dairygold Milk Quality Awards.

Michael and John are farming 85 hectares and milking 182 pedigree Holstein Friesian dairy cows.

The Skehanagh herd produced over one million litres of milk and produced on average 479 kgs milk solids per cow in 2020.

Producing the highest standard quality milk is extremely important to the Murphy’s and their care for the environment was also observed by the judges.

Michael and John are also assisted by family members on the farm.

The judges remarked that while all three finalists in the region demonstrated exceptional quality, Michael and John were an example of what excellent farm management, continuous personal development and an enthusiasm to learn can achieve.

They also commended them for their outstanding stock management and breeding strategy.

The mid-Cork region was also home to this year’s Sustainability Milk Quality Award winners Michael and Emmet Bradfield of Tullyglass, Enniskeane.

The other regional finalist was Conor McSweeney, Knockrour, Aghabullogue.

The sustainability award recognises the efforts of Dairygold milk suppliers in making their operations more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Their sustainability measures on the farm focused on maximising the use of resources available to them on the farm.

This included installing a heat recovery unit, utilising night rate electricity, availing of an efficient boiler system and minimising water consumption through rainwater harvesting and an in line metring system.

Dairygold chairman John O’Gorman said that 2020 was a remarkably difficult year for everyone due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Throughout this our milk suppliers continued to step up to the mark and maintained the highest of standards our customers have come to expect of us. We are delighted to recognise this huge effort on an annual basis and bring the stories behind the success to the forefront.

‘Our suppliers recognise the challenges faced by the industry and are embracing significant changes to meet sustainability pledges across their farm enterprises, all while delivering excellent milk quality.’

The awards were based on 2020 milk quality data for all 2,700 Dairygold milk suppliers across counties Cork, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare.  A shortlist was drawn up from each of the six Dairygold regions.

Eighteen finalists underwent adjudication by Don Crowley, Teagasc dairy specialist and Ciara Donovan, Dairygold farm sustainability advisor. The judges chose one overall winner, six regional winners, and a sustainability winner.

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