In their latest dairy newsletter, Teagasc discuss the importance of roads and outline the questions that farmers should ask themselves before they pour tarmac or concrete.

“A labour survey of discussion groups last year showed that over half of farmers are not happy with their farm roadway,” says Teagasc. “Poor roadways have a big effect on cow flow, walking speed and herd health. This is a cost in labour and production.”

Teagasc advise that farmers assess their road services and examine (among other issues) whether it services all potential grazing areas; if the condition is good; what its purpose is (machinery, cattle roadway, or both?); and how many animals will use the road.

“Roads are expensive to construct, costing from €15 to €30 per metre run,” say Teagasc. “Before spending any money on repairing/upgrading roads this autumn, you should get a map of your farm and sit down with your adviser and/or discussion group. Decide on a roadway system, having considered the above questions. Then any work this autumn should be part of your overall roadway plan.”

The full newsletter, which outlines this issue in further detail, is available here.