Technological advances will be a key to future dairy farms, according to Kevin Tuck, Managing Director at Alltech Ireland.

Speaking at an Alltech seminar on insights into the dairy industry in Ireland and China, Tuck said that the farm of the future will see a range of technologies that we never dreamed of.

“Measuring and monitoring all aspects of the dairy herd is where the future lies.”

Ear tagging for body temperatures, hoof assessment, infrared technologies and probe detection for rumen function, are all currently being used on dairy farms today, he said.

He also said that Ireland’s biggest challenge in dairying is that the markets with the biggest growth in dairy consumption are far away from the dairy farms where it is produced.

However, he said that even with a bit of negativity in the marketplace the potential in the dairy sector is still huge.

He also said that Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Nigeria – are significant markets, yet our knowledge of these markets is limited.

Carbon Footprint

One of the key demands of consumers in the future, he said, will concern carbon footprint. Ireland, Tuck said must have a 15-20% drop in its greenhouse gas emissions and this must be achieved by 2020.

Linked with this, he said, are Ireland’s plans to increase milk production.

“We are really confident that the 20% drop in carbon footprint can be achieved while increasing milk production – one without the other is not possible.

“That message is not getting across.”