Who

Morgan O’Sullivan

Where

Killorglin, Country Kerry, Ireland

About the farm

60 dairy cows
Spring calving based
Grazing system

“The system allows us to detect cows in heat without having to be out in the field, doing it ourselves.”

“We’re about four miles from Carrauntoohil, which is the highest mountain in Ireland”, says Morgan O’Sullivan senior, dairy farmer in the southwestern part of the country. He and his two sons Morgan junior and Brendan run a dairy operation, while also working off-farm employment. This was one of the reasons to opt for Nedap CowControl for heat detection and health monitoring.

“Breeding is one of our top priorities, it has been over the last number of years. And it will continue to be so into the future”, Morgan senior continues. Morgan Junior agrees with his father, and proceeds: “In the past we would have put a lot of effort into pre-breeding and heat detection. We would be tailpainting them, watching for heats, taking it all down in a notebook… It’s just a lot of work. And since we installed Nedap CowControl, that’s all gone. The system allows us to detect cows in heat without having to be out in the field, doing it ourselves.”

“It has reduced our repeat rate quite considerably compared to previous years.”

Both brothers use the Velos software on their smartphone to monitor their herd. Morgan junior: “It’s all on the phone, it’s all live. Click into a cow, see her profile all the way from calving to the present day. It is one of the first things we look at in the morning. It gives a nice overall picture of what is going on in the herd.”

Brendan recalls a story from when the two sons were young, they would be anxious to see when a particular cow would calf. “Our father would say that the cow knows more about calving than you do. But now it turns out that the Nedap system knows more about the cow’s heat and the cow’s cycles than we do ourselves.”

The results speak for themselves. “It has reduced our repeat rate quite considerably compared to previous years. We’re using less straws and our AI is also more timely.”

Brendan realises these improved reproduction results trickle down to the financial results of the farm. “If you are losing calving days, you are losing days in milk. Which in turn affects the profitability of the farm at the bottom line.”

“It is operating as an insurance policy for our cows. The health monitoring accuracy is second to none.”

Morgan claims the system was primarily bought for the heat detection, but soon enough they experienced the benefits of health monitoring.

“Recently enough, we had the vet out. We had three cows with pneumonia, and the system had picked up that the cows had high levels of inactivity, reduced grazing and reduced rumination. The system attention picked it up before we did ourselves. It allowed us to act that bit sooner, to get the vet out and get those cows treated that little bit sooner. And they got back into full production again a lot quicker than they would have in an ordinary scenario.”

Brendan agrees. “In effect it is operating as an insurance policy for our cows. The health monitoring accuracy is second to none.”

Both brothers look to the future with confidence. “We will be expanding, we intend to continue our 100% use of AI. And the Nedap system is greatly assisting us in our submission rates. It has greatly assisted our day-to-day running of this dairy operation. And we’re very happy with it.”

Learn more about Nedap CowControl

Results

Improved breeding

Reduced repeat rates

Improved cow health

Early detection of health problems

More timely AI

Using less straws

Reduced labor

No need to be in the field monitoring