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Teagasc National Dairy Conference 'Adapting to a changing dairy farming environment'

This year's Teagasc National Dairy Conference will take place on Wednesday, 29 November in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny. The conference theme is 'Adapting to a changing dairy farming environment'.

Teagasc National Dairy Conference
'Adapting to a changing dairy farming environment'
Pictured at the launch of the Teagasc National Dairy Conference taking place on Wednesday, 29th November in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny on 'Adapting to a changing dairy farming environment' are: Dr Joe Patton, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc; dairy farmer/speaker Brendan Joyce, The Island, Urlingford, Co Kilkenny, his sons Adam & Cormac; Patrick Moylan, Teagasc Dairy Advisor and Richard O'Brien, Regional Advisory Manager Teagasc Kilkenny/Waterford. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

Speaking in advance of the event, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, Dr Joe Patton said; ‘this year’s conference will tackle some of the most pressing issues currently facing dairy farmers. It will feature a range of practical workshops where farmers attending can meet and interact with researchers, advisors and leading dairy farmers on a range of issues such as grazing and nitrogen strategies, future farm stocking rate decisions, nutrient management technologies, and the potential benefits of flexible milking schedules.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Charlie McConalogue TD will deliver the opening address. This will be followed by the first technical session, ‘Key Drivers of Milk Production Costs in Dairy Systems’, which will feature a presentation from Mr David Beca, Red Sky Agri Consulting, Australia. David has specialised in identifying and reporting on the primary drivers of productivity and profitability in grazing systems. David also operates Red Sky, an agricultural business analysis and benchmarking software application that has wide use across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Following this international perspective, Dr Joe Patton, Teagasc, will present some key trends in cost structure on Irish dairy farms, and highlight the value of dairy cost benchmarking as a business development practice.

The second session of the day is ‘Getting to Grips with Labour Challenges on Dairy Farms’. The discussion here will centre on farm task organisation and the structures of work schedules on Irish dairy farms, with a view to identifying areas for progress. Marion Beecher, Teagasc Moorepark, will present the results of a recent labour study involving 55 dairy farms, which will address key questions around scheduling, rosters, use of non-core labour, and labour costs.

To provide practical farm level experiences, John Whelan, dairy farmer from Co. Wexford, and Brendan Joyce, who is dairy farming in Co. Kilkenny will both speak. John Whelan will outline how he makes use of contractors for key tasks at peak times, manages weekend work for staff and lessons learned in a growing dairy business. Brendan Joyce will share his top tips for efficient work routines in spring, the labour benefits of a simple system, and the importance of capitalizing on-off peak time.

Interactive Sessions

In the afternoon, conference attendees can choose three interactive workshops from the following:

  • Back to basics on grazing tactics for spring 2024
    Joseph Dunphy, Teagasc Grass10; Brendan Horan, Teagasc Moorepark, and Joe Murphy, Dairy Farmer, Kilkenny
  • Achieving 100 SCC in the first 100 days
    Pablo Silva Bolona and Don Crowley, Teagasc
  • Nitrogen (N) for 2024
    John Maher, Teagasc Grass10; Michael Egan, Teagasc Moorepark; and David Wall, Teagasc Johnstown Castle
  • Stocking rate decisions for future systems
    Michael O’Donovan, Donal Patton and Patrick Moylan, Teagasc
  • Milking 10 times a week –can it work for you?
    Emer Kennedy and Martina Gormley, Teagasc
  • Slurry storage and handling - how best to invest
    Pat Tuohy, Teagasc and William Burchill, UCC

Richard O’Brien, Teagasc Regional Advisory Manager for Kilkenny and Waterford; “We are delighted to welcome dairy farmers and industry personnel from all over the country and further afield, to Kilkenny for the Teagasc National Dairy Conference. The format of the day and line-up of speakers will make for interesting debate on the solutions to challenges facing the industry. We encourage early booking to make sure you get workshops of most interest to you”.

To register visit www.teagasc.ie/dairycon23

To see more, watch the promo video below