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Teagasc Moorepark to Stage International Dairy Fertility Conference

Teagasc is inviting all dairy farmers and dairy industry stakeholders to an international dairy fertility conference to outline key technologies to achieving a compact spring calving dairy herd. Poor fertility and poor calving patterns are significantly reducing profitability of Irish dairy farms and this reduction in profitability will be greater when milk quotas are removed in 2015. The primary reason for the reduction in profitability is the reduced capacity to efficiently produce milk from grass. Poor fertility is still the biggest cause of involuntary culling on dairy farms, and this will be the main limiting factor to expansion in the next decade.

Announcing details of the Teagasc International Dairy Fertility Conference, which takes place in Cork on 11th and 12th April, Dr. Stephen Butler, Teagasc Moorepark said: “the Moorepark Dairy Fertility Conference is an ideal forum for dairy farmers and key stakeholders to improve their skills and knowledge ahead of this year’s breeding season and for the years ahead”. Teagasc has assembled a group of international experts on all aspects of dairy herd fertility, including Jock Macmillan from Australia, Scott McDougall from New Zealand, and Torstein Stein from Norway as well as speakers from Teagasc Moorepark, Animal Health Ireland and leading Irish dairy farmers to cover a broad range of topics that affect herd fertility and calving pattern.

The first day of the event will take place at the Rochestown Park Hotel on Wednesday, 11 April, and is open to all dairy farmers, agricultural advisers, the AI industry, and the animal nutrition industry to attend. The objective is to discuss the best strategies for dairy farmers to improve fertility and calving pattern, facilitating expansion and greater milk production from grazed grass in the post-quota era. The second day of the event will take place at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark on Thursday 12 April, and is targeted at Veterinary Practitioners. This event has been approved for 5.5 CVE points.

Dr Stephen Butler, Teagasc said: “nationally, the mean calving date for dairy herds is in the middle of March, but it should be about one month earlier. In a post milk quota scenario farm profitability can be increased by approximately €5,000 for a dairy herd of 50 cows by correcting this calving pattern. This spring, dairy farmers should put in place a plan that maximises the use of high EBI AI genetics and achieve an earlier more compact calving pattern in their herd.”

Charles Chavasse of Pfizer Animal Health said that ‘they are delighted to be the main sponsors for this very important international conference”. Teagasc also gratefully acknowledges the support of Ulster Bank and the Irish Farmers Journal.

Alternatively contact:
Margie Egan, Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre
Tel (025) 42292; email; margie.egan@teagasc.ie