The 2019 Irish Grassland Association Annual Dairy Conference, sponsored by Yara, takes place on Wednesday, January 9, in the Charleville Park Hotel.
Since the abolition of milk quotas, the rapid expansion of the dairy industry has resulted in an increasingly diverse range of systems of milk production. The severe drought in the summer of 2018 forced many farmers to purchase twice or three times as much feed and forage as normal and question the sustainability of their current dairy system. To address these issues, the Conference is profiling dairy farms operating profitable grass-based systems of milk production and asks whether producing more milk is it always the answer. The conference will also discuss the grass, fertiliser and forage reserve targets required for sustainable grass-based dairying. Included in the speaker line-up are Welsh farmer Rhys James and Corkman Denis O’Donovan, who will describe how they operate their dairy farms and how their systems of milk production have evolved over the years. Agricultural consultant Mike Brady will complement the two farmer speakers by reviewing the common characteristics of his most profitable dairy farmer clients. New Zealand based John Roche will be on board as will Teagasc’s Richard O’ Brien, Grassland Agro’s Stan Lalor and Greenfield manager David Fogarty. The preconference ‘chat’ will feature Jason Hawkins the new boss at Carbery, in conversation with Matt Dempsey.