Pictured in Moorepark at the launch of the Teagasc National Dairy Conference are (from left), speakers John Phelan, Kilmeaden, Brendan Smiddy, Teagasc Cork East, Anne-Marie Butler, Ulster Bank with Donald Bateman, Cahir and Michael Gowen, Kilworth. (O'Gorman Photography)

‘Rays of light emerging on international dairy markets’

‘Technologies for Success’ is the theme for this year’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference which is taking place on December 6th at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork.

Announcing details of the event, Dr Tom O Dwyer, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said dairy farmers have come through a difficult milk price environment in 2016 and in 2015, but stressed that there are now ‘rays of light’ emerging on international dairy markets. This year’s conference follows the format adopted successfully at last year’s event, with a mixture of presentations and workshop sessions.

Dr Pat Dillon, Head of Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation programme Teagasc will present the keynote address focussing on his assessment of how Irish dairy farming is positioned in 2016, with a particular emphasis on whether or not it is well positioned to avail of future growth opportunities. Pete and Anne Morgan, New Zealand dairy farmers, will tell their story of how they have built robustness into their dairy farming business so as to develop a sustainable business across a range of milk prices.

These will be followed with a panel discussion with three leading dairy farmers. They will discuss the critical success factors which are important to their farming businesses.

In the afternoon there will be six workshops and attendees can choose three to attend. The workshops this year cover ‘What has clover to offer to Irish dairy farmers?’; ‘What is your farm’s breakeven milk price for 2017?’; ‘What AI bulls should you use in 2017’; ‘What steps can you take to reduce calf scour in spring 2017?’; ‘What are the causes and solutions to a herd lameness problem?’ and ‘Your health is your wealth… are you looking after yourself?’

To book a place at the conference, visit www.teagasc.ie

Pre booking is essential.