Farm walks to exhibit benefits of sustainable dairy expansion

Teagasc and Glanbia are set to host a series of farm walks to mark the end of the Teagasc/Glanbia joint programme.

This joint initiative was set up to help prepare Glanbia suppliers take advantage of growth opportunities that arose post quota abolition in 2015.

Glanbia has invited farmers to visit its monitor farms involved in the programme to learn what skills and knowledge they have gained and how they have sustainably and profitably future-proofed their dairy farm businesses.

The dates for the September monitor farm walks are as follows:
  • Wednesday, September 12, on the farm of Michael Doran, Johnstown, Duncormick, Co. Wexford;
  • Friday, September 14, on the farm of Peter Mongey, Stackallen, Slane, Co. Meath;
  • Thursday, September 27, on the farm of Paddy O’Gorman, Rathkeevan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary;
  • Friday, September 28, on the farm of Martin Davin, Eglish, Rathdowney, Co. Laois.

Michael Doran’s farm is the Glanbia/Teagasc monitor farm in Co. Wexford. Doran will host a farm walk today, Wednesday, September 12, and will explain how the programme has helped his enterprise.

Doran – who is chairman of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) – was a new entrant to dairy farming when he joined the programme and began milking with 80 cows in 2014. He has since expanded to 240 cows in 2018.

Doran outlined that the programme has greatly improved his financial planning on the farm. He added that this helped him in 2016 when milk price was poor and said that good planning has been crucial for the farm business to be successful.

The video below gives an insight into the key areas of focus in the programme:

Peter Mongey’s farm is the Glanbia/Teagasc monitor farm in Co. Meath and will host a farm walk this Friday, September 14.

Mongey is currently milking 110 cows on 42ha and was milking 80 cows before joining the programme four years ago.

He explained that the key learnings for him from the programme were soil fertility, grass growth and herd health. He outlined that his farm is primarily “a one man show” with extra labour only coming in when needed in the spring time.

All are welcome to attend the farm walks and the key learnings over the four years of the programme will be discussed at the events, organisers have assured.