Research shows that valuable energy consumed by a calf can be lost through environmental factors.

When temperatures fall below 15 Deg C, energy will be used by the calves to keep warm leading to cold stress.  New born calves have only 3% body fat which leaves them heavily dependent on nutritional energy sources for heat production.

This means if producers do not offer calves more feed (energy), the feed consumed will be used to keep warm instead of used for growth.  Calves not fed enough in cold conditions will not grow and will most likely start losing weight.  The Cosy Calf Jacket maintains the animals body temperature regardless of fluctuating temperatures.



 We have been stocking the Paxton footbath for some time and farmer response has been very positive.  Unlike traditional footbaths with grooves and rough corners the PAXTON footbath has a smooth floor with dimples for extra grip. The flat bottom reduces the nervousness of the animal as she doesn’t step on a hard groove particularly when she is lame and increasing her discomfort.  The PAXTON footbaths are available in two sizes.  See in store for further details.



 We are having great success with our footbath solution in particular with cases of digital dermatitis.  Obviously as we move to grass this will again be a major issue.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if this is relevant to your herd.



 As many cows have been housed for more than 5 weeks, all fluke will be at adult stage and easier to control before cows go to grass.  Tramazole has a short milk withdrawal of just 60 hours and also covers worms.  We now have a 1LT pack of Tramazole free with every 5LT pack purchased.

Dectospot has no milk withdrawal and covers all biting and sucking lice which may become a problem during housing.


ACIDKLENE is now available at The Farm Store.  This is a non-chlorine cleaner which is now being requested by all milk producers due to TCMs being recorded in the milk.




 Many farmers are back feeding milk replacer for the first time since the introduction of milk quotas.  There is a lot of confusion between brands, protein, oil content, fibre, skim and whey.  Higher protein leads to higher growth rates which are ideal for the replacement heifers.  These milk replacers tend to have lower oil content to encourage concentration intake while the calf is still on milk.  Lower protein powder is more suitable for beef animals and tends to have higher oil content and therefore more energy.


In a healthy situation there is no growth advantage between skim and whey, however when a calf’s immunity is challenged skim powder has the advantage because it forms a clot in the abomasum and breaks down over a longer period reducing the incidence of scour.


Whet breaks down much faster so where there is a veterinary challenge on farm such as crypto for example, skim based powder should be used.



Animal Health Ireland do not recommend any calf under the age of 4 weeks being fed once a day.  From that point on almost any milk powder can be fed once a day.  What is required when changing from once to twice a day is to increase the concentration of powder to 20% giving 600gm of powder with 2.4lt of milk.  We would recommend a skim based powder for once a day feeding.


Fibre % indicates the level of vegetable protein in the powder.  Virtually all milk replacers contain veg protein which contributes to amino acid development such as lysine and muscle definition. Soya protein has a high % of fibre compared to hydrolysed wheat gluten which has almost zero fibre concentration.

Milk powders that contain NUSTART have high levels of PROBIOTICS.  This is where good bacteria are introduced into the abomasum with the milk.  NUSTART also contains probiotics which feed the gut flora while adding antiviral properties and essential oils.


CALFHAGE will be familiar to most at this stage and is an excellent rumen developer for calves.Calfhage should be introduced as soon as 4 days old and fresh water should be available.  Calf muesli and calf nuts also in stock




PLANET is the highest yielding barley on the 2017 department list at 105, however it rates poorly for straw which should be addressed during the growing season.  Seed for this variety is limited so book early.


Orders for all other varieties of barley, wheat and oats noe being taken

November Newsletter


Contact Sean o Flynn direct to book your sprayer test to ensure you are cross compliant on

087-1272334.   Thankfully most sprayers are passing with a little bit of work needed for some. Tests will take up to 1.5hours and is done in the farmer’s yard.




Delivered in bulk or in mini-bulk bags

Huge absorption capacity up to 10 times its weight which compares very favourably to sawdust which is down around 2 to 3.


Also contains 15% hydrated lime to enhance disinfection. Excellent compost when discarded to the slurry tank.

Also available is fibre peat bed which is suitable for cattle bedding where straw maybe scarce. Spread on the floor has excellent absorption capacity keeping cattle very clean.it can be shaken up after a month and tends to dry out again.



With such a wet summer fluke is going to be prevalent in cattle. ENDOFLUKE covers all stages of fluke including eggs and is licenced for use in dairy cows.

We have a special bonus pack which gives a 1lt free with every 5lt which will treat 90 cows competitively.



ALBENCARE contains 15% albendazole which will control worms, adult fluke and fluke eggs,

Tends to be used at drying off in cows and again pre calving as it has a very short milk withdrawal of just 60 hours.

Albencare also comes with a free hook drenching gun worth €70.



we are now stocking oleo-mac chainsaws along with all other accessories and clothing, see  in store for details.



These coarse rations are formulated using alkagrain 150 which enables high levels of cereal to be used removing the risk of acidosis with high inclusion rates.

Typical beef 16% contains 60%maize,barley and wheat and 40% distillers, soya hulls and soya bean meal (no fillers like palm kernel  sunflower or rapeseed meal)



Full range of minerals in stock

Also special offer on pre-calver buckets and calf/beef buckets

Buy 6 get 1 free


For use in the desiccation of grass and weeds and pre cultivation on stubble ground.


  1. Rainfast in 1 hour.
  2. Only needs 6 hours before ploughing .
  3. Lower dose rate 2.4lt / hec for grass destruction.
  4. Very competitive compared to similar products such as Roundup Flex.
Total Grass Destruction
Total Grass Destruction

Forage Rape


Forage rape:           Is a convenient economical winter fodder feed ideal for strip grazing for cows or out wintering young stock.


When to sow:         May to early September in the south. Decide your target feeding date when setting,  earlier set, earlier fed

Seeding rate:          Broadcast at 3.5-4.5kg /acre. Direct drill at 3kg/acre

Fertiliser:     3 bags of 18-6 -12 with additional nitrogen when established optional, however establishing field fertility through soil sampling will give a more accurate requirement.

Pests:                Flea beetle may attack at emergence and is identified by holes in leaves like a shotgun blast, control by applying trigger at 1.5 ltr/ha.  Slugs and leatherjackets are also problematic and control where necessary.


Feeding analysis:    3-5 ton DM yield/ha, 25-30 ton fresh yield/ha.   12-13% DM, 18-20% protein


Feeding advice:     Introduce gradually, provide a source of roughage.  Supplement for iodine and phosphorus.   Available in 10 and 25 kg at the farm store.






Spring crops are slow at present as a result of the cold wet weather, this gives pest like leather jackets, wireworm and slugs a greater chance to cause problems.

Above see images of damage created by pests which we encountered on our travels.

Image 1 & 2 are images of damage done by leatherjackets. The signs are yellow leaves and when you pull the plant you find the stem has been eaten underground.

Image 3 is of wireworm, which we found in spring wheat which was just ploughed out of long term grassland.

Control in both these situations has to be with Dursban or Trigger which contain Chlorpyrifos and should be applied before rain to ensure the chemical moves below ground.

This will also cover the field for aphids so a separate application should not be necessary.  If ground has not been rolled it should be to reduce the pests ability to move.

Image 4 is slug damage on barley leaves and is obviously above ground so slug pellets are the answer.

In all cases you need to evaluate the extent of the problem before spending money on chemicals.   Numbers needs to be high to warrant control.

Large numbers of crows gathering in fields are a good indication of problems.

Hugh Sisk  9th May 2012


Growth has been very slow of late which has forced some farmers to feed grass closed for silage.  Delaying herbicide control on silage ground and waiting for higher temperatures would be advisable as further setbacks would delay cutting and reduce silage quality in particular DMD.  However this needs to be weighed up allowing three weeks post spraying to allow sufficient time for chemicals to work.

Product options include EAGLE and Asulox for swards containing clover.  Non clover options include TWINPROP, BINDER or REAPER with the latter having an added bonus of nettle and chickweed control.

Hugh Sisk


In spite of very poor growth as a result of the cold harsh conditions, disease pressure is still high.

Many crops are due for there second fungacide spray and although crops may look clean, mildew is very prevalent down low.  Regardless wether a morpholine was added already, in dense crops it will not be the product of choice.  Talius should now be added to prevent further infection and spread to higher leaves. Trace element should also be considered to give crops a boost.  My product of choice here would be combitop which cotains sulphur as well as manganese, magnesium and zinc.

Wild oats should now also be controlled.  My product choice here would be axial in wheat and barley and a new product called foxtrot is now available offering a more competitive alternative.

Hugh Sisk