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Teagasc to Stage Major International Grassland Conference

Grazed grass is the base feed for all ruminant enterprises in Ireland, giving Irish farmers a competitive advantage over producers in other countries. Teagasc research shows that major increases in farm profitability can be achieved by targeting higher grass production and utilisation on grassland farms.

Announcing details of the ‘Grasses for the Future’ conference, which takes place in Cork on 14 and 15 October, Michael O’Donovan, Head of Grassland Science in Teagasc said: “Targeting higher grass production in spring and autumn has a higher economic value than during the mid-season period. Therefore, future initiatives in grassland research, breeding and evaluation will need to focus on the areas where grass production is in deficit.”

This two-day event ‘Grasses for the Future’ will take place at the Silver Springs Hotel, Cork on Thursday, 14 October and at Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, on Friday, 15 October. The event will bring together leading grass breeders, evaluators, researchers and the grassland stakeholders to discuss the future needs of the sector. Keynote speakers include Alan Stewart (PGG Wrightsons – New Zealand), Pete Wilkins (ex IBERS - Wales), Trevor Gilliland (AFBI- Northern Ireland). Mike Caslor (USDA) will act as the conference summariser and brings huge experience in this capacity.

Michael O Donovan said:”The ‘Grasses for the Future’ conference (Day 1) and workshop (Day 2) will focus on livestock production requirements from perennial ryegrass as a feed source. This conference provides a unique opportunity for all grassland industry stakeholders to participate in strengthening progress in the grassland sector.”

The workshop on Day 2, is taking place at Teagasc Animal, Grassland and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy. There will be visits to the centre’s grassland research programme, and to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food grass evaluation site in Ballyderown farm. This conference is a must for grassland enthusiasts and should be a year highlight for all those interested in the grassland sector.

This event is being sponsored by Goldcrop, Barenbrug, Independent Seed Company (Moregrass), Germinal Seeds, Irish Grassland Association and is been organised in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and AFBI, Northern Ireland.

Launching details of the Teagasc 'Grasses for the Future' Conference were: Pat Dillon, Head of Animal, Grassland, Research & Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Dermot Grogan, Dept of Agriculture, Michael O' Donovan, Head of Grassland Science Research Dept, Teagasc Moorepark, along with representatives from some of the main sponsors, including Declan McCarthy, MoreGrass Ireland, Dave Barry, Goldcrop, Larry Coogan, Quinns of Baltinglass & Oliver Vaughan, Germinal Seeds.