Milk price volatility has become a feature of Irish dairy farming over the past decade, according to the organisers of this year’s Irish Grassland Association National Dairy Conference.

And, farmers who recognise the challenges that volatility present and adapt accordingly will continue to operate profitable and viable farm businesses.

The theme of this year’s event focuses on some of the strategies required to overcome volatility in dairying.

This year’s conference, sponsored by Yara, will take place on January, 7, 2016, in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Co. Limerick.

The conference will focus on the key areas of grassland management to overcome volatility outside the farm gate.

These include:
  • Financial management
  • Cow nutrition
  • Fertility

The conference will be addressed by some of the countries leading dairy farmers, agri-consultants, researchers and agribusiness personnel, it says.

The organisers say that, the latest recommendations and guidelines for maximising the use of grass will be discussed by Dr Michael O’Donovan of Teagasc Moorepark.

Cork-based dairy farmer Shane Crean will also detail his transition to a grass-based system of milk production and his plans for the grazing season ahead on his farm, the organisers say.

The latest research and guidelines for the management of spring-calving dairy cows on low input grass based diets both pre- and post-calving will be presented by Dr. Finbar Mulligan of UCD.

Also speaking, Dr Mary Herlihy of Teagasc Moorepark, will review the key findings from her farm-based study on cows after calving, it says.

The conference will also hear how farmers can develop a business strategy to ensure that farms remain financially viable in times of low milk prices.

This area will be covered by speakers from Grasstec, AIB and FBC Accountants.

Riona Sayers from Teagasc Moorepark will then speak on herd health and reducing disease risk when expanding, the organisers say.

Early booking for the Conference is strongly encouraged as places will be limited and this event sells out early every year.