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Teagasc National Sheep Conferences 2023

The Teagasc National Sheep Conferences will take place this year on Tuesday, 24th of January in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan town and Thursday, the 26th of January in the Brandon House Hotel, New Ross, County Wexford. Both conferences start at 7pm with a line-up of four speakers as outlined below that will be repeated in each location. Some of the latest research from the Teagasc national sheep programme will be discussed.

Teagasc Director, Professor Frank O'Mara, will open the conference in Monaghan and address the challenges and opportunities facing the sheep sector, outlining the commitment and work programmes underway by Teagasc to support the sector and the industry. 

Flock health is the key to productivity on our sheep farms and a growing challenge being experienced within the industry is the area of anthelmintic resistance. The first speaker will be Dr Dave Leathwick, a principal scientist in parasitology at the pastoral agricultural research centre (AgResearch) in New Zealand. Dr Leathwick has been researching nematode parasites of grazing livestock, with a focus on their biology and control, and the development and management of anthelmintic resistance for nearly 35 years. He will outline work he has conducted with farmers and veterinarians, dealing with real-world drench resistance management issues.

The Food Vision 2030 policy has set a target of increasing our land area farmed organically to 7.5% by the year 2030. Elaine Leavy, Teagasc Organic specialist and Amy Jackson an organic sheep farmer from Offaly will discuss factors to consider when producing lamb on an organic farm. 

Addressing the area of greenhouse gas emissions, government legislation in Ireland now states a targeted reduction in greenhouse gases of 51% by 2030, with a 25% reduction in emissions from Agriculture. Dr Jonathan Herron, Teagasc, will outline some of the management practices that can be implemented on sheep farms to reduce the environmental impact, and also have wider positive effects such as economic and production benefits.  

Finally as always, Teagasc research has shown the value of pasture based sheep systems from a nutritional quality, cost effectiveness and sustainability perspective.    Lisa McGrane a PhD Walsh scholar based in the Teagasc National Sheep Research Centre, Athenry, will present her research on the addition of clovers (white clover or red clover), or herbs (plantain or chicory), to perennial ryegrass swards on animal and sward performance under an intensive sheep production system.

The conference will be recorded and will be made available online after the event.

For more details on the sheep conference visit the Teagasc website at https://www.teagasc.ie/corporate-events/sheep-conference/