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Teagasc Open Day on ‘Greenfield Dairy Farm’ - 19 and 20 January

Teagasc will host an Open Day for all farmers on a ‘New Greenfield Dairy Farm’ in County Kilkenny on both Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, 19 and 20 January, 2010. This new dairy demonstration farm is a collaborative project between Teagasc, Glanbia, Agricultural Trust (Irish Farmers’ Journal), FBD Trust, AIB and the Phelan family (farm owners). The farm is part of the Teagasc new BETTER Dairy Farm Programme to provide family dairy farmers with the skills and technologies to expand milk production in a financially rewarding scenario, once EU milk quotas are abolished in 2013.

The main objective of this farm is to demonstrate best practice in the design, construction and operation of a low grass-based milk production system to Irish dairy farmers within the constraints of commercial farm practice. On this former 112 hectare tillage farm, a new low capital cost 250-cow dairy unit has just been established. The farm has been converted from a tillage farm with no farm buildings to a fully functional dairy farm with milking facilities, farm roadways, paddocks, winter cow accommodation, slurry storage and calf facilities. The key drivers in the conversion of this farm have been to minimise capital investment and to maximise labour efficiency.

Teagasc research and advisory staff will present up to date information in relation to financial planning, capital investment, breeding programme to increase dairy replacement numbers, and a biosecurity blueprint for purchasing dairy stock. On the farm, the new farm infrastructure will be on display and includes roadways and water layout, reseeded pastures, milking parlour, standoff pad and an earth lined slurry store.

The Open Days are being held on the new farm in conjunction with Cillin Hill Mart in Kilkenny. Interested farmers from Leinster are invited on Tuesday, 19 January and farmers from the remainder of the country on Wednesday, 20 January. The Open Days will run from 10.00am - 4.00pm. Each day all farmers should go directly to Cillin Hill mart in Kilkenny as there are no parking facilities on the farm. Both days are divided in two parts with the first half being held indoors in Cillin Hill mart and the second half outdoors on the demonstration farm. A comprehensive Open Day booklet will be provided on the day and it is advised to bring raingear and wellingtons. The support of FBD Trust for this event is greatly appreciated.