Down on the farm: Why the need to stabilise herd numbers is the government’s next big challenge

Dairy farmers are caught between urgently necessary climate targets putting pressure on their businesses and the flexibility their farms need to survive

Daniel Murray

Political Correspondent @danieltmurray
6th June, 2021
Down on the farm: Why the need to stabilise herd numbers is the government’s next big challenge
James Foley, a farmer from Coolydoody, Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford: ‘We are not hobby farming, that’s for sure.’ Picture: Patrick Browne

When milk quotas were lifted in 2015, James Foley immediately began expanding his dairy herd to maximise the output of his land.

“We went from about 120 cows in 2015 up to 200 cows in 2017, and levelled off there. Two hundred cows is about twice the national average, so we are not hobby farming, that’s for sure,” Foley told the Business Post from his farm in Coolydoody in Waterford.

“We know the pressures...

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