DairyMis Discussion Group Host Successful Dairy Open Day
The Munster regional winners of the ACCBank EBI dairy discussion group competition hosted a successful open day in Cork today, Thursday 31 March. A large attendance of dairy farmers eager for information on Spring AI, visited the farm of Michael and Marion Gowen, Kilworth, Co Cork. Michael is a member of the Dairymis discussion group which were Munster regional winners in the ACCBank EBI competition 2010.
Dairy farmers were urged to maximise the use of Dairy AI this spring to increase herd EBI. The Dairymis group which comprises of farmers from Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford was formed in 1977 and has an average herd EBI of €92 with an average herd size of 143 cows. Even though group members have expanded dairy cow numbers by on average 10 cows per year for the last number of years, the five year change in EBI was €24, well ahead of the competition average.
DairyMis group chairman John McNamara from Hospital, Co Limerick said; “We have 20 group members and our main focus is to manage efficient, profitable and enjoyable family farm businesses. All members are owner operators which ensures a technical focus.”
The open day had a number of stands which ranged in content from breeding objectives, heifer rearing, grassland management, group financial performance and herd health.
Tom O’Dwyer, Head of Teagasc Dairy Knowledge Transfer commented that “Dairy farmers must maximise their use of dairy AI this spring, to ensure high EBI replacements for the 2014 calving season, the year before quota removal. The upward trend in heifer numbers of recent years must not be reversed due to fears re milk quota and Super Levy. High EBI, AI bred, well reared replacement stock will always be in demand. Today the DairyMis Group demonstrated to the industry that high increase in herd EBI and herd expansion can take place at the same time.”
Sean Farrell, National Agri-Manager at ACCBank congratulated the DairyMis group on winning the Munster regional award. He said: “Through this competition dairy farmers have been encouraged to improve the quality of their breeding herds, and the DairyMis group have shown what can be achieved.”
The EBI competition is sponsored by ACCBank and run in association with Teagasc, Irish Farmers Journal, and ICBF.