Teagasc/Aurivo Joint Industry Programme
Teagasc and Aurivo, are collaboratng on a Joint Dairy Development Programme for the period 2020 to 2023. This follows a number of previous development initiatives. The programme will be delivered by Teagasc Advisers and the Aurivo Farm Profitability Programme team.
Purpose of the programme
The programme aims to improve efficiency on farm leading to an improved return for the milk supplier while also promoting sustainable farm practices. The programme will be the channel through which Teagasc and Aurivo provide leadership to all Aurivo milk suppliers giving an expected increase in milk production and increasing awareness of all sustainability issues and their likely impact on farming.
A strong emphasis will be placed on practices leading to an improvement in water quality and biodiversity, a reduction in agricultural emissions and high standards of animal welfare.
The programme will:
- Support interactive learning opportunities for dairy farmers who meet in discussion groups.
- Improve herd fertility management practices so as to improve herd calving interval and 6-week calving rate.
- Improve grazing management and grass production skills among the supplier base;
- Improve milk quality, particularly in the areas of residues, and reducing antibiotic usage (AMR/ selective dry cow therapy etc.).
- Increase engagement with all Aurivo milk suppliers so as to increase supplier sustainability.
- Improve collaboration between Teagasc Advisors and the Aurivo Farm Profitability Programme team.
The programme will be delivered as a joint advisory initiative between Teagasc and Aurivo. The following strategies will be employed:
- Discussion groups: Currently there are 21 dairy discussion groups, with approximately 300 Aurivo supplier members. This programme will support the delivery of these groups, while seeking opportunities for the creation of new groups.
- Focus Farmers: Demo farmers have a major role to play in the application of scientific findings and the spreading of best practices and innovative farming approaches. Six new Focus Farmers will be identified to participate in this programme. Support for the current cohort of 7 Focus Farmers will continue in 2020.
- Specific events for farmers not participating in discussion groups: Topics such as dairy start-up, people management and winter milk along with a variety of others will be covered. An annual programme of activities will be agreed each year.
- Farm walks / demonstrations (open to all Aurivo suppliers): These will take place largely on the Focus Farms and will be open to all Aurivo suppliers. An annual programme of farm walks will be agreed each year.
- Publications/ media: Up to date information about the joint programme activities and on farm practices/findings will be shared through publications and social media.
- Collaboration between Teagasc and Aurivo (and other relevant stakeholders): To involve activities such as group meetings, public events or specific farm visits as well as workshops and joint meetings of relevance to Aurivo suppliers.