The next generation of a joint programme that aims to provide family farms with the skills and technologies to operate efficient and sustainable dairy farming systems has been launched by Glanbia Ireland and Teagasc.
The Open Source Future Farm Programme is the latest evolution of the Teagasc / Glanbia Ireland knowledge transfer programme, that will harness advancements in technology and farm practices to support farmers to make the necessary changes for a profitable and sustainable future.
Participants include Jack and Larry Kearney from Rathcormac, one of only 11 farms, which range in size from 120 to 320 cows, to take part in the EU-funded Smart Agri Hubs dairy project.
A key priority in the programme will be to introduce digital technologies and practices particularly in the area of labour efficiency.
Meters installed to monitor and improve water and energy usage, will aid all farmers across the Glanbia Ireland supply base in using water and energy resources more efficiently.
This will help provide strong insights for other farmers on streamlining their farming operation to deliver lean management practices, whilst also supporting the health and well-being of the farmer.
Strong emphasis will be placed on soil nutrient management, utilising high yields of quality grass, effective Nitrogen usage and the Economic Breeding Index (EBI) of the herds to help boost productivity.
There will be regular opportunities to see first-hand the advancements through farm walks held on the 11 farms, which vary in size and soil types across the Glanbia Ireland catchment area, including in counties Waterford (Portlaw and Aglish), Cork (Rathcormac) and Tipperary (Gortnahoe).
Farmers can also follow regular updates on the Open Source Future Farm programme through social media and in-depth reports on www.GlanbiaConnect.com and www.Teagasc.ie.
Glanbia Ireland’s Farm Development Manager John Murphy and Teagasc Dairy Business and Technology Advisor Richard O’Brien will manage and provide the technical services for the programme.