Eight Aurivo milk suppliers from seven counties were recognised for their excellence in milk production at the annual Aurivo Milk Quality Awards held last week in The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Now in its seventh year, the Aurivo Milk Quality Awards identifies and rewards Aurivo milk suppliers who exemplify excellence in milk quality.

Best performing Northern Ireland supplier – Robert Russell

Roberts grandfather bought the farm in 1953. He took over in 1985. “We were milking 40 cows. A new parlour was built in 2011 and cow numbers up to 100. The herd is made up entirely of British Friesians

“Good Routine is key to Milk Quality. Hygiene is important in the parlour,” he said, while feeding good quality, nut and silage is necessary along with breeding good quality cows.

Robert Russell, Omagh, Tyrone

Robert Russell, Omagh, Tyrone

“That extra penny you get for quality milk is a bonus. It really counts.”

Lowest somatic cell count – Ger Brennan

Changed from sucklers in 2011.

“We started with 30 and have increased to 65 at present.”

“If you have a cell count issue the best place to start is by milk recording your whole herd, to see were the problem is. It might be only 1-2 cows that are costing you a lot of money. Your better to cull them cows out because usually they are chronic and you’re not going to clear them up.”

Ger Brennan, Strokestown, Roscommon

Ger Brennan, Strokestown, Roscommon

Ger’s top tips are:
• Post dip the cows;
• Machine maintenance to ensure the cow is being milk correctly; and,
• Milk recording to know what each cow is doing.