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Dairy Open Day - Breeding Technologies to Increase Farm Profit

A Teagasc Open Day for dairy farmers will take place at Ballydague Research Farm, County Cork, on Tuesday, 23 March. Called ‘Breeding and Management Technologies to Increase Farm Profit’, this event is organised by Teagasc in association with FBD and will provide comprehensive direction to dairy farmers on breeding strategies for the coming breeding season.

Head of Teagasc’s Animal Production and Grassland programme, Pat Dillon said: “The Irish dairy industry is facing new and challenging times with the impending removal of milk quotas and large volatility in milk price. The key to future success is the utilisation of the best genetics available together with the implementation of sound science-based management technologies. Using high EBI genetics is the corner stone to ensuring profit maximisation regardless of future milk price. This important and timely event will provide Irish dairy farmers with up to-date research information as they prepare for the start of the breeding season.” The open day will focus on compact calving, generating additional high EBI replacements and increasing both, AI use and the profitability of the dairy herd. The various alternative breeds and crossbreeds currently being evaluated at Ballydague Research Farm will be exhibited on the day.

Teagasc Dairy Programme Manager, John Donworth said: ”At present there is a shortage of high quality dairy replacement stock being produced on Irish dairy herds. While fertility levels have improved, current performance continues to be substantially below optimum, leading to a continuing shortage of heifers and depressing dairy farm profits. Maiden heifers are a key component of the dairy enterprise and must be managed accordingly to achieve optimum performance. Synchronisation programmes can help achieve early compact heifer calving as well as facilitating an improved supply of high quality replacements”. The Open Day, which has been generously sponsored by FBD, is an ideal opportunity to see at first hand the results of the comprehensive research programme at Moorepark and to meet Teagasc researcjers and advisers. The event also offers dairy farmers an opportunity to meet with ICBF, NCBC and the main AI organisations.

Dairy discussion groups are encouraged to attend as this event will count as one of the eight meetings that participants are required to attend to qualify for the Dairy Efficiency Programme 2010. The open day runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Admission and parking is free, including a comprehensive booklet.