Milk recording is a vitally important tool that is available to all dairy farmers. Many may see milk recording as an extra job to do as well as slowing down milking time. However, it is one of many actions that can significantly influence herd management decisions and in return, farm profitability.

Being able to identify and paint a picture of any single animal’s performance is crucial to identify the top and bottom cows in the herd. Information such as milk yield, fat, protein, somatic cell count (SCC) and pregnancy diagnosis is important when recognising cows to cull and breed future replacements from. Additionally, by analysing milk recording data, cows can be easily recognised for the right treatment at drying off time, as selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is becoming much more relevant in terms of reducing antibiotic resistance on farms. An Annual Report is sent annually by ICBF to herds that milk record at least four times during the calendar year and have the dates of their cows’ dry off recorded.

After every milk recording, herds that are recording receive a CellCheck Farm Summary Report that highlights areas where mastitis control is good and areas where it could be improved. If any surplus breeding stock is being sold off the farm, milk recording information can help to add value to these animals at the time of selling. Higher levels of compensation will be provided if a TB breakdown forces the removal of a cow from the herd, if the cow or their relatives have been milk recorded. Milk Recording Profiles can also be viewed through a farmer’s HerdPlus login which displays the most up to date information based on the latest milk recording test.

As of the 1st September 2023, the number of herds carrying out milk recording nationally has increased by 6% when compared to the same date in 2022. This year to date until the 1st September, there were over 1,155,238 cows recorded when compared with 1,085,034 for the same period last year as can be seen in the bar graph below. The number of milk tests conducted has also increased by 6% which is up 132,799 to just shy of 3 million in total for the period.

These are the Milk Recording Organisations (MROs) offering milk recording services in Ireland. These MROs offer two types of Milk recording services, the Recorder service or the Electronic DIY service.

Milk Recording Organisations Contact Details:

Dairy Data 087 6064344

Munster Bovine 022 70805 or 023 43228

Progressive Genetics 046 9541230

Tipperary Co-op 062 33111