FRS Milking Course: Perfecting the everyday farmer’s milking skills

The Best Practice in milking course was launched in 2015 and since then has proven to be a great success amongst the farming community throughout Ireland. Hundreds of farmers both experienced and inexperienced have completed the course and benefited from it in some way. The QQI accredited course which is run in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is available nationwide for anyone looking to become a milker or to simply improve their skills.

Diarmuid Scannell a farmer from Crookstown in County Cork completed the course September last year in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Diarmuid came across an advertisement for the course online and was intrigued. He wanted to complete the course to see what it had to offer and what he himself could take home from it.

“I don’t have my own farm but I work on a farm and would be always milking. I came across the milking course on the internet and I decided to do the course because I was interested to see what was involved and to see if it would benefit me in the long run.”

Everything Diarmuid learned on the course benefited him in some way especially learning to use both hands when milking.

“What I took away from the course was being able to switch hands for milking and milking with both hands. I never did that before but do it all the time now.”

The way in which the course is divided into practical and theory changes it up but also gives the farmers the theory part along with the hands on experience. Diarmuid found the way in which the course was run to be very efficient:

“The layout of the course and they way in which it is run is A1. The trainer was also great and showed us clearly how everything should be done.”

Diarmuid would definitely recommend the course to all farmers whether they are experienced or inexperienced:]

“I would definitely recommend the course to other farmers. Learning how to milk properly and being able to use both hands when milking was great, I never did this before. We are all milking cows but most of us farmers are not milking cows properly.”

Successful completion of the “Best Practice in Milking Course” will result in a FETAC/QQI level 6 certificate. It involves two days training followed by an assessment and includes practical on farm milking sessions. The course itself is designed to develop the skills of the milker to ensure that all cows are milked effectively and efficiently and reduce preventable waste by improving somatic cell counts (SCC) and better milk quality.

Course are available nationwide. For more information or to book a spot on the course call Pat Reilly on 086 4634155 or visit http://www.frstraining.com/milking course.

 

 

FRS Milking Course: Creating Quality Milkers from Beginners

To date, the Best Practice in milking course has proven to be a great success amongst farmers throughout Ireland.  Hundreds of farmers both experienced and inexperienced have completed the course and each one has benefitted from doing it in some way.  The QQI accredited course which is ran in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is available nationwide for anyone looking to become a milker or simply improve their skills.

 

John Anthony O’Brien, a farmer from Westmeath, successfully completed the milking course in July 2015 in Mullingar. John himself has a herd of 105 cows on his farm where he resides with his mother, wife Carmen and two daughters Remy and Pia. He hopes to increase his herd to 120 over the coming years.

 

Before the milking course, John had little knowledge of milking so decided to do the course in hope of furthering his milking skills and knowledge. He wasn’t left unsatisfied. Completing the course as a new entrant to milking John found he learned a lot and gained great experience.

 

“I found the whole course and how each part was run and explained to be very good.  I was a new entrant so I had very limited knowledge and experience so I found it really helped me.  It was fantastic.”

 

Everything John learned in the Milking course was new information to him and coming in as a beginner he found he retained it all and picked things up quite quickly. Every part of it for him was value for money.

 

“I think the course really is great value.  Every part of the course was new to me, the whole running of the parlour and the set up was great.  The practical milking itself and the whole concept behind a proper milking routine really stuck with me.”

 

The way the course is divided into practical and theory changes it up but also gives the farmers the information along with the hands on experience.  For John, having the practical side to the course is a bonus.

 

“I really liked the mix between the theory and the practical but the practical side is always great.  With being told something, things can fly over your head whereas when you are shown something hands on and see it happening in-front of you it really clicks.”

 

Before doing the milking course, John had no parlour of his own.  After completing the milking course in the Summer of 2015, John began constructing his own milking parlour which he had up and running by January 2016. 

 

“Before I did the course I didn’t have anything – no milking parlour at all.  I only started the roadways about two months afterwards and I was milking my first cows in the parlour in the January.”

 

Doing the milking course impacted on how John decided to go about building his milking parlour and the way in which he was going to lay it out.

 

“The course really did impact on how I would go about my parlour.  Parts of the course really influenced me.  I got a lot of helpful tips during the course from the tutor.  Simple things like row right handed turns, roadways and how a row should be wide enough to get a straight run into and out of your parlour. It all comes down to how cows act and react to their surroundings.”

 

John wouldn’t hesitate in recommending and encouraging others to do the milking course. 

 

“I really would recommend the course to others.  For me personally, I knew nothing so it was all new to me.  It was information I needed badly but I think there’s something there for everybody be it an experienced milker or not.”

 

Although there were people there who had milked all their lives the course does cater for those who are just starting out too.

 

“There were lads in there who were relief milking all their life and experienced, I think they found it interesting too and learned things that they didn’t previously know.  There was something there for everybody to be honest it really was worthwhile.”

 

For more information or to book a spot on the course call Pat Reilly on  086 4634155 or visit www.frstraining.com/milkingcourse.

 

 

 

 

 

TAMS Farm Safety Training

Farm Safety training is now mandatory under the TAMS scheme. It is a requirement of the scheme that all applicants must have completed within the last five years prior to the date of application or the submission of their claim for payment a half day Farm Safety Code of Practice training day.

FRS Training are running these half day courses nationwide for only €40 per person.

 You can book online at here

 

 

Using pesticides safely for good weed control

 

This is the time of year when weed growth is at its best, so farmers need to be vigilant in controlling their spread before they go to seed.

Two main control methods are available.  In both cases, timing is essential.

  1. Topping
  2. Use of Pesticides

Grassland weeds must be sprayed at what’s called the Rosette stage (3 – 4 “high (75-100mm) and similar width for best control when using pesticides.  This means a full array of leaves to absorb maximum amount of the pesticide applied, if the plant is too advanced the pesticide product will not be as effective.  If it is already too late to spray, it may be advisable to top grassland and then spray in 4-6 weeks time to the new growth.

FRS have the perfect weed solution to help with your weed issues and FRS Training provide the sprayer training courses to ensure you are compliant with the new department of Agriculture directive called the SUD (Sustainable Use of Pesticide Directive).

Grassland Weeds

Weeds compete with grass for nutrients and space.  In turn, these weeds are reducing the amount of grass available to the grazing animals.  For most common grassland weeds a product called MCPA will suffice.  Always reads the label and supplementary information for the correct pesticide application rate before using.  You may have to decide on what volume of water suits your situation, as very often volume rates on labels are determined by the grass cover or level of weed infestation.

Some Typical grassland weeds and products available:

Buttercup

There are many sprays on the market which will eliminate buttercups from grassland.  Spraying with Forefront or Pastor will solve this problem as well as the growth of other weeds.

Rushes

Rushes tend to cause a big problem for farmers.  With the amount of rainfall we get in Ireland there is always a significant increase in the amount of rushes on the land.  A combination of  2 4 D based products and Torpedo 2 appears to be quite effective in killing it off as due to it’s vigorous nature it can be quite difficult to dispose of.

Docks

Docks are a constant scourge on most farms however they are relatively easy to control.  There a number of effective sprays on the market.  The only problem which underlies is there reoccurrence.  Many products are available to counteract against docks, however many are very severe on clover therefore it is best to consult with your supplier on the appropriate product to suit your needs.

Products available: Doxstar – Fore front – Eagle

Typical Rate of Application:  2L/ha in 200L of water/ha

(Eagle is granulated so rate measure in grams/ha)

Weeds and Briars under fences

Weeds and briars become a major problem with electric fences around farm boundaries.  The major problem which arises is the strength in the power of the electric fencing diminishing dramatically.  The best way to control this is by using weed killer.  Grazon 90 is one of the best on the market and is preferred by many farmers.

Boom Sprayer Pesticide Application Courses

The department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced the implementation of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD).  This directive stipulates that professional users, ie farmers and distributers of plant protection products will be required to be trained and registered with the department by November 26th 2015.  Farmers need to be compliant and the training courses required are commonly known as Boom Sprayers and Knapsack Sprayers.

Course Title:                                                    Duration:                     QQI Level

Boom Sprayer Pesticide Applicator             2 days ( 1 week apart)         5

Hand Held Pesticide Applicator                   2 days  ( 1 week apart)        5

Boom sprayers include, Weed lickers, self-propelled, mounted, trailed and quad sprayers once over 3 meter boom width.

FRS Training is a QQI approved professional pesticide user training provider and has tailored its courses to suit farming life. Once you have successfully completed the Boom Sprayer and/or the Hand Held Pesticide Applicator course/s. Farmer must register with the department of Agriculture via their online system and then you will receive your PU Number (Pesticide User).  This is an excellent hands on practical course where you will be safely trained on handling and applying correct rates of product and know how to calculate the output from your sprayer.

Further information on registration and training requirements visit:www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie

Contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 to book your course or visit http://www.frstraining.com.  FRS courses are available Nationwide at competitive pricing and group discounts.