Dairy Farmers Flow to Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Open Day
The expansion in the Irish dairy industry over the last three years has been of a significant financial benefit to both Irish family farms and the wider rural economy. That was the message from Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle speaking at the Teagasc Moorepark dairy open day in Fermoy, County Cork today, Tuesday, 4 July. Further expansion will depend on the adoption of Resilient Technologies which is the theme for today’s open day, which is sponsored by FBD Insurance, and which is attracting thousands of farmers from all over the country and from abroad.
Professor Boyle continued: “It’s now over two years since milk quotas were abolished and dairy farmers have made significant productivity gains in that period. It shows how the technologies being applied at farm level, especially in relation to animal breeding and grassland management, are fuelling this expansion in a sustainable way.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD said: “Irish dairy farming is in a very positive position, but we must continue to focus on resilient technologies which allow us to maintain our competitive advantage in milk production. Our unique grass-based milk production, from family farms in Ireland, is a sustainable model. 2017 is designated as the ‘Year of Sustainable Grassland’ to celebrate this most important productive and sustainable source of livestock nutrition. The benefits of growing and utilising grass to its optimum, is well demonstrated by Teagasc here in Moorepark today.”
Dr Pat Dillon, Head of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland, Research and innovation programme, said: “The dairy sector is now facing a number of challenges; such as price volatility, shortage in the availability of skilled labour, requirement to increase sustainability and BREXIT. So it’s important that dairy farmers adopt Resilient Technologies to insulate against these challenges. Resilient Technologies that support seasonal pasture-based sustainable systems such as increasing grass utilisation per hectare; high EBI genetics; minimising pressure on the environment; labour efficient practices at farm level and producing milk of the highest standard of quality and nutritional value. Additionally, the farm business must remain resilient in terms of debt level, where all investment decisions are based on a comprehensive business plan and budget.”
Liam Herlihy, Chairman of FBD Holdings plc said: “FBD Insurance is delighted to sponsor the Teagasc’s Moorepark Open Day again this year. As Ireland’s leading farm insurer, we are committed to supporting Irish farmers through our research grants, education sponsorships, farm safety campaigns and various other initiatives. FBD Insurance uniquely partners with Irish farmers for the development of farming and rural Ireland and we hope visitors to Moorepark enjoy an informative day.”
The Teagasc Moorepark Open Day Forum is taking place in the afternoon. Two separate panel discussions on key issues facing the Irish dairy industry over the next decade will take place. ‘BREXIT and Irish Dairying’ will be discussed first by a panel including: Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., Professor Colm McCarthy (UCD), Professor Gerry Boyle (Teagasc), Mr. Kevin Lane (Ornua).
This is followed by a discussion on: How attractive is a career in dairy farming?
The panel for this discussion is: Mr. Padraig Walshe (Dairy Farmer and Former IFA President), Mr. Billy Curtin (Dairy Farmer), Ms. Ann Moore (Dairy Farmer), Ms. Gillian O’Sullivan (Dairy Farmer), Mr. David Kerr (Dairy Farmer)
A new handbook on – ‘Farm Infrastructure’, compiled by Teagasc with the support of Ulster Bank, was officially launched at Teagasc Moorepark ‘17 today. It shows the principal of good dairy farm infrastructures that is safe, produces quality milk from healthy animals using management practices that are sustainable from an animal welfare, labour efficiency, economic and environmental perspective.