The annual Teagasc dairy open day for 2019 will take place in Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, on Wednesday, July 3, the agricultural authority has announced.

The theme of the Teagasc Moorepark ‘19 Open Day is ‘Growing Sustainably’, and the overall sponsor of the event is FBD Insurance, with additional support from Ulster Bank and Ornua.

Irish dairy

The structure of the Irish dairy industry has changed significantly in recent years with the abolition of EU milk quotas. Cow numbers have increased by over 30%, while milk production has increased by over 50%.

Exports of Irish dairy products and ingredients have increased from €2 billion to over €4 billion in 2018. At farm level, this has resulted in increased farm profitability, according to Teagasc.

New challenges in relation to climate change, water quality and availability of an adequate supply of skilled labour are facing the industry. Therefore, ‘Growing Sustainably’ is critically important for the Irish dairy industry, the agricultural authority outlines.

Speaking at the launch of the open day, Liam Herlihy, chairman of Teagasc, said: “The Irish dairy industry is facing a number of challenges in relation to climate change, water quality and availability of an adequate supply of trained and skilled labour.

“The dairy industry going forward will balance environmental, economic and social outcomes while providing natural, high-quality products that are known throughout the world. This Teagasc open day will provide guidance to farm families to address these challenges.”

Villages and workshops

Sustainable growth requires that dairy farming systems are financially profitable, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable.

At the event, there will be a network of themed villages for farmers to visit, which includes demonstrations on grazing management, reseeding, farm infrastructure, body condition and locomotion scoring, high EBI genetics, and health and safety.

There will be workshops on milk quality, anti-microbial resistance, new entrants to dairy farming and labour management.

A large range of Irish dairy products will be on display promoting their image, quality, taste and nutritional credentials.

There is a shared consensus that the highest standards of animal welfare are critical to the on-going success of the dairy sector, according to Teagasc.

In the afternoon, there will be a questions and answers panel discussion facilitated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin from RTÉ News.

The panel consists of national experts who will discuss ‘Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Continued Dairy Expansion’.

The Moorepark open day runs from 8:30am through to 5:00pm. A comprehensive booklet will be provided, while admission and parking is free.