Moorepark ’15 is all about sustainable expansion (But what does it mean?)

Moorepark ’15 kicks off today and the focus of the event is ‘sustainable expansion’.

So what does that mean to the average dairy farmer?

According to Teagasc’s Tom O’Dwyer sustainable expansion has three main aims from Teagasc’s point of view.

“It means the expansion should be profitable for the farmer, number one.

“Number two is that it should look after the environment and, thirdly, it should improve the lifestyle of the farmer over all.”

O’Dwyer said despite the opportunities that the abolition of milk quotas makes available to dairy farmers, the sector shouldn’t be ignorant of the challenges or obstacles that lie ahead.

Not least milk, he said, milk price volatility and the large investment required on many dairy farms in order to grow milk production.

Some 10,000 dairy farmers are expected to attended Teagasc’s flagship dairy event in Moorepark today. The event is set to showcase the latest research and technology developments that support seasonal pasture based dairy farming.

Part of the huge crowd early in the day at Moorepark.

Speaking at the Moorepark event Director of Teagasc, Gerry Boyle said following the abolition of milk quotas it’s already evident that there is going to be a significant increase in milk production over the coming years.

“This shows how responsive the dairy industry is to availing of the opportunity and the preparation that has taken place on farms and at processing level over the last three years.

“It also shows how technologies such as animal breeding and grassland management being applied at farm level, are fuelling this expansion,” he said.

The Moorepark event will also see the launch of a new guide for new entrants to the dairy sector. The new booklet – ‘Stepping Stones to a career in dairy farming’ shows the progression route necessary for all future dairy farmers by highlighting the essential skills and training needed to run a successful business.