Opportunities to improve efficiency of sheep production in Ireland will be outlined at the two Teagasc National Lowland Sheep Conferences which will take place this month, according to Teagasc.

These will take place in the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney, County Kerry on Tuesday, January 28, and in the Springhill Court Hotel, Kilkenny on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

Farmers are conscious of farming sustainably and one of the key steps to environmental sustainability is the efficient use of nutrients in the production systems, the agricultural authority and extension agency notes.

David Wall, a soil science researcher from Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, will present a paper on how sheep farmers can use nutrients to meet grazing and environmental targets on sheep farms.

He will outline how using protected urea can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and how slurry and farmyard manure can be applied to optimise the nutrients for grass growth and minimise emissions.

Teagasc sheep geneticist Noirin McHugh will outline how the use of improved genetics can boost lamb production on farms in Ireland, through increased litter size and lamb growth rates.

She will emphasise the importance and benefits of having data from commercial flocks and how this improves the sheep breeding indexes in Ireland.

Stomach and gut worms in sheep have developed resistance to anthelmintics (wormers) on many farms in Ireland and this is now a major challenge not only on these farms but for the wider sheep industry.

Teagasc researcher Orla Keane will outline sustainable strategies for stomach worm control and steps for farmers to take when selecting and administering wormers to slow the further development of resistance.

John O’Connell farms near Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim and is a participant in the Teagasc Better Farm Sheep Programme. He is working to a business plan to develop his sheep enterprise.

At the Teagasc sheep conferences John will outline his plan for ‘growing his farm’, discussing the challenges he has encountered and the progress made to-date in implementing his plan.

The conferences start at 6:00pm; they are free to attend and all sheep farmers are welcome.

Meanwhile, looking down the line, the Teagasc Hill Sheep Conference will take place on February 19, in Co. Donegal.