Regional ACCBank EBI Competition Winners Host Dairy Farm Walks
All farmers will have an opportunity to visit three excellent dairy farms later this month. The three regional winning dairy discussion groups in the ACCBank EBI Competition are hosting open days on members’ farms. The first two events will take place on Wednesday, 24 March in Meath and Galway, with the third farm walk on Thursday, 25 March in Tipperary.
Large numbers of dairy discussion group members are expected to attend as these events qualify for the newly established Dairy Efficiency Programme 2010. The number of discussion group participants has more than doubled in recent months, with over 6,000 now participating in Teagasc-organised discussion groups since the launch of the Dairy Efficiency Programme.
The EBI Competition, which promotes better breeding on dairy farms, is sponsored by ACCBank and run in association with Teagasc, ICBF and the Farmers’ Journal. Over 80 groups, consisting of more than 1,000 individual dairy farmers participated in the competition in 2009. The groups underwent a rigorous two-stage evaluation involving a business case study analysis and an interview with the judges which focused on aspects of the groups breeding records.
Teagasc dairy programme manager, John Donworth said: “This competition promotes better breeding of dairy cows to improve profitability on farms, through individuals working collectively as groups. By using the best genetics available, dairy farmers will be better equipped to face the twin challenges of impending milk quota removal and price volatility. The development of the Economic Breeding Index (EBI) has allowed dairy farmers to select dairy AI sires that combine excellent milk solids production and fertility. This is now widely accepted on dairy farms, as the use of dairy AI has almost doubled over the past five years, with nearly two-thirds of this year’s replacement heifer calf crop by dairy AI”.
Launching the open days, Sean Farrell, National Agri-Manager at ACCBank congratulated the regional winners on hosting the events. He said: “ACCBank is pleased to continue our sponsorship of the EBI competition. The top farmers are achieving excellent results, managing their businesses well, and using top quality genetics to improve their herds and their overall profitability.”
The Open Days are an ideal opportunity to meet the members of the winning groups and hear their plans for the coming breeding season, and Teagasc advisers will provide producers with up-to-date research information as they start the breeding season.
The EBI dairy farm open days will take place on Wednesday, 24 March on the farms of:
- Paul and Tom McCullaghs’ farm at PIERCETOWN, DRUMCONRATH, NAVAN, County Meath who is hosting the walk for the Navan discussion group, who were the Leinster Regional winners;
- Michael Quinn’s farm at CLONACUSHA, KILLIMOR, BALLINASLOE. Michael is hosting the walk for the Killimor discussion group who are the Connacht/Ulster Regional winners;
On Thursday, 25 March an open day will be held on the farm of:
- Tom Horan, CLONMEL ROAD, CASHEL, County Tipperary. Tom is hosting this walk for the Outrath Discussion Group, the Munster Regional winners.
Attendance at any one of these three farm walks will fulfil one of the eight required meetings to qualify for the Dairy Efficiency Programme 2010. All open days begin at 11.00am and a comprehensive event booklet will be provided at all events.