Farming & Fisheries

GEA product was perfect for Liam

March 30th, 2021 9:00 AM

Liam O'Donovan milking at the farm in Clohane near Skibbereen. Photo: Anne Minihane

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Liam O’Donovan is a fifth-generation farmer from Clohane, Skibbereen. He has been in and around farms all his life and has seen first-hand the long hours that go into working on, and managing, a farm.

With a young family at home, creating a better work life balance was key for Liam, and that is why three years ago he decided to install an external rotary milking parlour.

The GEA DairyRotar External Rotary maximises throughput, enabling the farmer to milk more cows with less labour, while also increasing performance. The rotary milking system can be designed according to the individual farm’s needs.

‘I went for a 54 unit. Milking is much faster now, and labour is reduced’, says Liam.

Liam and Dolores O'Donovan with their children Emma, Ruby, Annie and Eve on their farm. Photo: Anne Minihane


With over 300 cows, milking used to take over three hours. Now, since installation of the rotary system, milking and washing up is down to an hour and a half.

‘I am saving three and a half hours a day. Over a year that is a lot. It has given me a better work life balance. I have more family time’, adds Liam.

It’s not just the farmer who benefits. The rotary system is also more user-friendly for the livestock.

‘It’s better for the cows, and in turn for the milk. The cows have less time standing around on concrete and more time out in the field eating grass and lying down’.

With reduced time spent in the milking parlour, Liam finds that it’s much easier to attract people to work now.

‘It’s much easier, even to get a relief milker, because they know it’s faster’.

Choosing a GEA product was a no-brainer for Liam. His previous milking parlour was also a GEA, and it did 21 seasons.

‘It was quite trouble-free throughout that time, so I decided to stick with GEA. One big advantage is that they provided their own fitters so if I ever have any question, I can call the fitter and they can talk me through it over the phone’.

Since installation, Liam won the Best Protein Production Category at the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards in 2018.

‘There’s nothing extra or fancy with it. It’s very easy to use and easy to train in someone to use it, even if they have never used a rotary system before’.

Making the family farm more attractive for the next generation is key for keeping them interested, and Liam says the rotary system has a big part to play in this.

‘Because it is very user-friendly, they are more inclined to help out. My wife and children all help on the farm. They are well able to milk and use the rotary system’, concludes Liam.

GEA’s iFlow Rotary are engineered and designed in New Zealand for the Irish grass based farmer. Ergonomically designed for farmer comfort and optimum cow flow.

For more information contact Roy Clarke today on 087 6813268 or visit

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