An inadequate supply of a trained and skilled workforce to meet additional labour needs of an expanding national dairy herd is the biggest challenge facing the Irish dairy industry, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc told those gathered at the launch of the 2017 Teagasc Moorepark Open Day which will take place in Fermoy on Tuesday, July 4.
This year’s theme will be focusing on ‘Resilient Technologies’, technologies that will allow dairy farmers, and indeed the entire dairy industry, to flourish in both the good times and the more challenging times, Teagasc said at the launch.
Dairy farming businesses that adopt these technologies ‘will be technically and financially efficient, generate surplus cash, consistently achieve financial expectations and are simple to operate’. These resilient technologies are based on the efficient production and utilisation of pasture and use of high EBI genetics in sustainable compact spring calving systems of milk production.
At the event there will be a network of themed villages for farmers to visit, which includes information on GRASS10, Breeding, Profitable Systems, Milk Quality, Investing in People and Dairy Farm Infrastructure. There will be a number of demonstrations on grazing management, reseeding, farm infrastructure, calf rearing and health and safety. Additionally there will be workshops on strategic management, new entrants to dairy farming and labour management.
In the afternoon there will be two Q&A panel discussions facilitated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin from RTÉ Six One News. The first panel discussion will examine ‘Brexit and Irish Dairying’, and the second will ask ‘How attractive is a career in dairy farming?’ and will be discussed by a panel of dairy farmers. A new publication on “Dairy Farm Infrastructure” that outlines the key principles involved in planning the farm grazing and milking infrastructure will be available at the open day. This publication is being supported by Ulster Bank.
Speaking at the launch of the open day, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, said the Irish dairy industry is facing a number of challenges; the biggest being an inadequate supply of a trained and skilled workforce to meet the additional labour needs of an expanding national dairy herd.
“Additional challenges include the on-going requirement to meet environmental targets, milk price volatility and any fallout arising from Brexit. This Teagasc Open Day will provide guidance to farm families on management of larger herds.”
Teagasc Moorepark 2017 will run from 10am to 5pm on July 4. Admission and parking is free and a comprehensive booklet will be provided to visitors.