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Teagasc Virtual Dairy Conference

This year’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference moves online with a series of four virtual events to take place across two days, on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th November at 10am and 7pm each day. The focus will be on the efficient use of fertiliser nitrogen and on improving sustainability.

Announcing details of this year’s conference, Dr Tom O’Dwyer, Teagasc, commented: “This marks the twenty third year of the event.  Over the years we have focused on providing the latest research and best advice for dairy farmers and this year is no different, despite the fact that the conference is online.  This year, we are focussing on two key themes: firstly, the efficient use of fertiliser nitrogen and, secondly, improving sustainability through improving on-farm efficiency.”

Dr Pat Dillon, Head of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland, Research and Innovation Programme, said: “There is a significant focus on fertiliser nitrogen, farm productivity and environmental footprint currently.  So it’s timely to look at the scientific evidence underpinning the current advice for dairy farmers in a number of areas, including: improving the efficiency of fertiliser nitrogen use in dairy systems, balancing farm productivity with environmental outcomes and improving sustainability through the use of proven technologies at farm level.”

Presenter of the Teagasc Dairy Edge Podcast, Dr EmmaLouise Coffey is looking forward to the event: “This will be the first time for a live podcast from the Teagasc Dairy Conference and I am really looking forward to it.  It will be great to pick up on the themes discussed earlier in the day and to talk through the practical, on-farm aspects with top dairy farmers and Teagasc experts.”

The online Teagasc dairy conference is free to join, but registration is required beforehand.  Both days will feature a live panel discussion at 10am, followed by the Dairy Edge Live at 7pm.  Further details and registration are available at www.teagasc.ie/dairycon20  All four sessions are live, with the opportunity for viewers to post their questions for the panellists.

Teagasc will publish two reports as part of the conference. On the first day, a new report called: ‘Review of the Influence of Nitrogen Application Rate, Soil Type and Agroclimate Location on Grass Production, Feed Budget, Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Farm Profitability’ will be published online and discussed during the day.

On the Tuesday, the Teagasc 2027 Sectoral Roadmap: Dairy will be published.

Conference Programme

Tuesday 24 November 

Webinar at 10am
Making better use of fertiliser nitrogen: what does the research tell us ? Facilitated by Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc, the focus of Tuesday’s webinar is improving the efficiency of fertiliser N use in dairy systems, and balancing farm productivity metrics with environmental outcomes. 

The panellists are: 

  • Dr  Owen Fenton, Teagasc Johnstown Castle ;
  • Dr  Laurence Shalloo, Teagasc Moorepark;
  • Dr  Elodie Ruelle, Teagasc Moorepark.

The session also features a video update from Aine Murray on results of a recent Moorepark experiment on protected urea versus CAN; William Burchill, Teagasc also provides a simple guide on the benefits of benchmarking N use efficiency on farms.   

Teagasc Dairy Edge Live at 7pm
White Clover – How do we ensure good establishment at commercial farm level?

Tune into The Dairy Edge Live as Dr Emma Louise Coffey interviews Teagasc’s Mike Egan and Limerick dairy farmer John McNamara. The practical challenges involved in establishing clover sward within a high performing dairy system will be discussed.

Wednesday, 25 November

Webinar at 10am
Improving sustainability through improving on-farm efficiency

Facilitated by Dr Karina Pierce, Enterprise Ireland, the focus of the Wednesday webinar is on improving sustainability through the use of proven technologies at farm level. 

The panellists are: 

  • Dr  Brendan Horan, Teagasc Moorepark
  • Dr  John Roche, Down to Earth Advice Consultancy, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Brian Rushe, Dairy Farmer, IFA Vice-President and Teagasc Authority member

A video taken at Brian Rushe’s farm will show how the technologies practised on his dairy farm work for him. He’ll be on hand to discuss the issues from the perspective of a commercial dairy farmer.

Teagasc Dairy Edge Live at 7pm
Teagasc Dairy Roadmap 2027 – How can the targets be achieved at farm level? 

Tune into The Dairy Edge Live as Dr Emma Louise Coffey interviews Teagasc’s Patrick Gowing and Galway dairy farmer Dara Killeen. Speaking from the perspective of a new entrant to dairying, Dara will talk about the technologies that he has implemented on his own farm to meet the technical and business targets he has set for his business. Both speakers will identify what they feel are the biggest challenges ahead and how they can be addressed.

All four sessions are live, with the opportunity for viewers to post their questions for the panellists.