‘Farming for a new decade’: Dairy programme launched

Kerry Agribusiness and Teagasc launched their new phase of the dairy joint programme on Zoom earlier this week on Tuesday, November 17.

Entitled ‘Farming for a new decade’, this programme is the ninth chapter of the Teagasc / Kerry Agribusiness knowledge transfer programme that began in 1994.

According to Teagasc, this new programme will promote economic, social and environmentally sustainable dairy farm systems to Kerry Agribusiness suppliers.

It will provide a tailored range of activities to engage with Kerry farmers which are focused on supporting advancements in best practice and technology adoption.

At the virtual launch of the three-year joint programme on Tuesday, Pat Murphy, CEO Kerry Primary Dairy and Agribusiness, said:

“We are delighted to begin a new phase of the joint programme which represents an investment of €1 million by Kerry Agribusiness over the next three years.

This programme will have an increased focus on reducing carbon footprint, improving water quality, animal welfare and biodiversity.

Director of Teagasc, Prof. Gerry Boyle, also commented, stating: “We are delighted to be working with these 15 demonstration farmers and with Kerry Agribusiness on a new phase of the joint programme.

“The increased emphasis on reducing carbon footprint and enhancing water quality reflects the challenges facing all farmers over the next decade.

“This environmental focus, coupled with the latest technical farming advice and financial expertise, will provide a basis for sustainable farming into the future.”

The 15 demonstration farms, listed below, are representative of herd size of Kerry Agribusiness suppliers and are geographically spread across the Kerry Agribusiness catchment, the partners say.

The partners further stated that there will be a strong focus placed on nutrient management planning, effective use of nitrogen and Economic Breeding Index (EBI) of herds to optimise productivity and further advancements in the conversion of grazed pasture to milk solids production.

Teagasc dairy business and technology advisors Ger Courtney and Robert Prendiville will manage and provide the technical services for the programme.