Teagasc has announced that an open day for the Irish dairy industry will take place in Teagasc Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, on Thursday, April 5, 2018.
The theme for the Ballyhaise’18 open day is ‘Technologies for Resilient Dairying’. Dairy farmers and those involved in the dairy industry will have the opportunity to view and discuss the latest developments that will help them to increase the profitability of the family farm business and cope with future challenges such as volatile milk prices.
Teagasc says the open day will highlight the importance of adopting farming systems that are resilient to external forces, and that incorporate sufficient tactical flexibility to overcome unanticipated events.
Head of the Teagasc Animal Production and Grassland Programme, Dr Pat Dillon, said: ”The abolition of milk quotas has provided dairy farmers with significant opportunity for expansion at farm level. The continuing impressive growth in Irish milk production is a fantastic example of what can be achieved within indigenous rural farming enterprises. Further expansion within the sector and, in particular within the Border Midlands Western Region (BMW), is expected over the next decade which will deliver additional jobs on Irish dairy farms. Growth in the sector also has a high employment multiplier effect and supports employment in other parts of the economy and in rural areas.”
Dr Donal Patton, Teagasc research officer based at Teagasc Ballyhaise, said: “Expansion should only be planned if it is going to result in increased farm profitability and an improved livelihood for the farm family. This open day will provide guidance to farm families on how to assess their farm businesses and plan further successful expansion.”
There will be a network of themed presentations, which include information on breeding, grassland and heifer rearing, in addition to the latest results from research trials. A number of grassland demonstrations will allow farmers to see the practical impacts of various management practices.
A special feature of Ballyhaise‘18 will be a forum on ‘Family Farming Careers in Dairying’.
A Teagasc spokesperson said: "The forum will include a panel of researchers and farmers with a range of experiences and at various stages of their farming careers. The panel will also discuss what steps farmers can take to make dairy farming a more attractive career for young people. An estimated 6,000 people are needed to enter the Irish dairy industry at farm level over the next eight years to replace retiring farmers and meet the additional workload arising from national herd expansion."
The Ballyhaise’18 open day is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine knowledge transfer event.
The open day runs from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Admission and parking is free.