Farmers Optimistic at Teagasc National Dairy Conference
21 November 2007
The Irish dairy industry is entering an exciting new time which will bring massive change to the sector. There is now a renewed confidence among dairy farmers and those in industry and this is reflected at the Teagasc National Dairy Conference which is are taking place over two days in Kilkenny today, Wednesday, 21 November and tomorrow in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Thursday, 22 November. In excess of 1,000 farmers will attend the conference over the two days.
This new optimism is being driven by a welcome increase in market returns for dairy products. The possibility of milk quotas increasing could create an opportunity for Irish dairy farmers to organically grow their milk production business for the first time since 1984.
Speaking at the Teagasc National Dairy Conference, Professor Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc said: “This opportunity has been denied to a whole generation of milk producers who have been locked into a rigid quota system for most of their farming life. The proposed policy changes unveiled by the European Commission require careful evaluation and consideration. As director of Teagasc I am taking an active hands-on interest in this process, so that the best outcome is achieved for the Irish industry.”
Professor Boyle continued: “I believe that there will be new opportunities for young committed dairy farmers to develop profitable dairy businesses in the future, but we need to plan for that now. We must ensure that there are adequate numbers of high quality replacement heifers being produced, so that individually and collectively we are ready to grasp the opportunities that may arise in the future.”
“The technologies to optimise profit are developed and the Teagasc advisory service has been realigned to transfer this technology onto farms to allow producers generate higher profits while safeguarding the environment. Better breeding coupled with higher production and better utilisation of grass continue to be the cornerstones of profitable dairy production. Dairy farmers are increasing their income by thousands of euro by using the latest grass budgeting techniques,” Professor Boyle concluded.