Research and advice to help dairy farmers manage through 2015

Teagasc Moorepark Research and the Teagasc Advisory service is organising a series of dairy seminars throughout the country in late January/ early February.

Teagasc says the pending abolition of EU Milk Quotas presents challenges and opportunities for dairy farmers and their families.

It says in the coming years, farmers will need to become more technically efficient to cope with volatile milk prices. In the immediate horizon, milk price is forecast to decline for 2015 will be a challenge for many dairy farmers, Teagasc says.

However, according to Teagasc reductions in milk price are not new.

Dairy farmers had to manage with low milk prices in 2009 and to a lesser extent in 2012, it says and now is the time to review the tactical options available to manage through the next 12 months.

Teagasc advises that farmers need to be proactive, and carefully plan their cash flow. Identify areas where cash inflows can be increased and cash outflows can be reduced, it says.

Dr Tom O’Dwyer, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said says across-the-board cost cutting is not necessarily the answer.

“Farmers should make tactical and cost-effective choices. Now is the time for farmers to examine their expenditure options and to complete a cash flow budget for 2015.

“There is plenty of help available from Teagasc to assist farmers in creating a cash flow budget and Teagasc has also re-designed its budgeting template to help farmers get started,” he said.

Dairy farmers provide significant support to the Teagasc dairy research programme through the Dairy Research Trust. With this in mind, Teagasc Moorepark Research and the Teagasc Advisory service is organising a series of dairy seminars throughout the country in late January/ early February.

According to Dr. Pat Dillon, Head of the Animal and Grassland Programme with Teagasc “the aim of these events is to help dairy farmers manage through 2015, while also planning the efficient development of their dairy business in a non-quota environment”.

The first half of each meeting will consist of four short presentations dealing with optimum dairy farm systems post-quotas, spring 2015 grazing management, rearing healthy calves and cow management from calving to mating start date.

These presentations will include results from the latest research studies, and will be followed by an interactive questions and answers session allowing farmers to raise specific technical issues that directly concern them.

The second part of the night will deal with cash flow budgeting. The Teagasc specialists have updated their cash flow budget template specifically to deal with the challenges for 2015. This session will be in a workshop format facilitated by the local dairy adviser. Farmers will be divided into small groups, and guided through the process for completing a cash flow budget for 2015.

All events will commence at 7pm sharp.  Details of events are as follows:

Tuesday, 20 January GAA Complex, Carrigoon, Mallow, Co. Cork
Thursday, 22 January  Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Monday, 26 January Springhill Court Hotel, Kilkenny
Tuesday, 27 January Inchydoney Island Hotel, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Wednesday, 28 January  Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, Co. Meath
Thursday, 29 January Ballykisteen Hotel, Tipperary
Monday, 2 February Ashtown Park Hotel, Gorey, Co. Wexford
Tuesday, 3 February Errigal Country House Hotel, Cootehill, Co. Cavan
Wednesday, 4 February McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Thursday, 5 February County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly

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