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Farm fragmentation in County Clare

Finished up our day scanning in County Clare on a diary unit outside Ennis. The dairy farmer had four different locations . He had to walk cows for one mile on a road to one of his outside farms as his herd expanded . As the amount of traffic increased on the road he put up a second milking parlour on the outside farm. This type of cost is not borne in mind with when considering cost efficient milk production on many farms in rural Ireland. Farm fragmentation is a major issue in the management of the farm. County Clare is one of the finest examples of fragmentation limiting potential for expansion for cost efficient beef or milk production. I left County Clare this evening wondering what the future holds for a resilient group of farmers which are excellent stockmen with very little future where scale means everything.and with lower margins in high scale production systems they do not have a great future. Dr.Dan @ www. cows365.com

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