INITIALLY DRIVEN by finances, Robert Donovan has increased income retained as profit from 39% to 71% since he began outwintering.

But he also now appreciates the free time he has for family and hobbies.

Based in Limerick, he operates a 55ha (136-acre) block for winter grazing for his 100-cow dairy herd plus followers.

Finished beef cattle are sold off the farm before August. Four key costs – feed, fertiliser, contracting and machinery – have all been slashed, reducing total farm expenses.