First of 2 virtual Teagasc Sheep Conferences taking place tomorrow

The annual national Teagasc Sheep Conference is going virtual this year and will take place across two evenings at 8:00pm, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26, and on Thursday, January 28.

Speaking in advance of the virtual conference, Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer at Teagasc, said: “As we face into 2021, this is an important opportunity for sheep farmers, and those in the sheep sector, to update their knowledge on a number of key aspects of lowland sheep production.”

The speakers for tomorrow evening’s session (Tuesday) are Nicola Fetherstone, a Teagasc Walsh Scholar, who will provide an update on the INZAC trial in Teagasc Athenry, comparing Irish 5-star and 1-star ewes, with elite New Zealand ewes.

Then, Professor Paul Kenyon PhD, Head of School, School of Agriculture & Environment/Professor in Sheep Husbandry, Massey University, New Zealand, will present a paper on New Zealand feeding guidelines for growing lambs to target live weights on herbage.

The webinar on Thursday, January 28, will be hosted by Damian Costello, Sheep Knowledge Transfer Specialist in Teagasc. He will be joined by Áine O’Brien, a post-doctoral researcher on sheep genetics and genomics, Teagasc, and by UK vet Ben Shrugnal.

Áine will focus on how farmers can look at reducing labour at lambing by improving lamb vigour and ewe mothering ability through breeding. This will be followed by Ben’s presentation on Laryngeal chondritis, an obstructive disease of the upper respiratory tract in sheep, more commonly known as Texel throat.