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New Dairy Farm Infrastructure Handbook Published

Teagasc, with the support of Ulster Bank, has published a new ‘Dairy Farm Infrastructure Handbook’, which was available for farmers visiting the Teagasc Moorepark ‘17 Dairy Open Day in Fermoy, County Cork, today, Tuesday 4 July.

Good dairy farm infrastructure is essential for dairy farmers to produce quality milk from healthy animals, using management practices that are sustainable from an animal welfare, labour efficient, economic and environmental perspective.

Speaking at the launch of the publication, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “This handbook is an important guide for dairy farmers, as they consider expanding their dairy enterprises, improving their efficiency, or converting from a greenfield site.  The important areas such as grazing infrastructure, milking facilities, milk cooling, water and energy efficiency, land drainage design and installation, along with incorporating biodiversity, are all covered. Grazing infrastructure in relation to roadways, paddock layout and water systems will be important in terms of overall herd performance as it can allow more days at grass and therefore greater profitability.

Pat Horgan, Ulster Bank’s Head of SME Banking for South Midlands and West said: 

“We’re proud to be supporting Moorepark’s Open Day and meeting dairy farmers, their families and teams today. This booklet is a valuable resource for dairy farmers looking to upgrade their existing infrastructure or invest in the establishment of a new dairy farm enterprise. It will help dairy farmers who want to delve deeper into the areas of technical efficiency, people management and other business skills. Whether you are looking to grow your dairy business or just starting out, talk to Ulster Bank about how we can help you to realise your ambitions.”

Head of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Programme, Dr Pat Dillon said: “A key measure of labour productivity on dairy farms is cows milked per person milking, per hour; therefore the correct design and size of the milking facilities will be critical. Refrigeration of milk is important as it inhibits bacterial spoilage; likewise since it accounts for the largest component of electricity use on dairy farms, reducing its costs using the most appropriate pre-cooling processes will be important.”

The new ‘Dairy Farm Infrastructure Handbook’, is published on www.teagasc.ie and is available from Teagasc and from Ulster Bank.

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