Teagasc Moorepark’17 Dairy Open Day
A major Teagasc Open Day for the Irish dairy industry will take place in Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork, on Tuesday 4 July. The theme of the Teagasc Moorepark ’17 Open Day is ‘Resilient Technologies’, and the overall sponsor of the event is FBD Insurance.
Resilient technologies will allow dairy farmers, and indeed the entire dairy industry, to flourish in both the good times and the more challenging times. Dairy farming businesses that adopt these technologies will be technically and financially efficient, generate surplus cash, consistently achieve financial expectations and are simple to operate. These resilient technologies are based on the efficient production and utilisation of pasture and use of high EBI genetics in sustainable compact spring calving systems of milk production.
The recent rapid increase in milk production has brought with it dramatic changes in the structure of Irish dairy farms; almost 50% of dairy cows are now milked in herds of greater than 100 cows. There are indications that there is an inadequate supply of skilled labour at farm level to meet this level of expansion. The dairy sector now needs a reappraisal of farm management, with an increased focus on efficient work practices, subcontracting of particular tasks and attracting an increased supply of highly skilled young people into dairy farming.
Speaking at the launch of the Open Day, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, said: ”The Irish dairy industry is facing a number of challenges; the biggest being an inadequate supply of a trained and skilled workforce to meet the additional labour needs of an expanding national dairy herd. Additional challenges include the on-going requirement to meet environmental targets, milk price volatility and any fallout arising from BREXIT. This Teagasc Open Day will provide guidance to farm families on management of larger herds.”
At the event there will be a network of themed villages for farmers to visit, which includes information on GRASS10, Breeding, Profitable Systems, Milk Quality, Investing in People and Dairy Farm Infrastructure. There will be a number of demonstrations on grazing management, reseeding, farm infrastructure, calf rearing and health and safety. Additionally there will be workshops on strategic management, new entrants to dairy farming and labour management.
In the afternoon there will be two Q&A panel discussions facilitated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin from RTÉ Six One News. The first panel discussion will examine ‘BREXIT and Irish Dairying’, and the second will ask ‘How attractive is a career in dairy farming?’, and will be discussed by a panel of dairy farmers.
A new publication on “Dairy Farm Infrastructure” that outlines the key principles involved in planning the farm grazing and milking infrastructure will be available at the open day. This publication is being supported by Ulster Bank.
Teagasc Moorepark ’17 will be a day not to be missed by anyone with an interest in the Irish dairy industry. The open day runs from 10.00 am - 5.00 pm. A comprehensive booklet will be provided. Admission and parking is free.