Teagasc is in the final stages of an investment plan of €10 million to upgrade the facilities at Moorepark Technology Ltd.

The upgrade will mean Teagasc can increase and expand the innovation and trials it conducts on site through the Moorepark Technolocy Ltd (MTL) subsidiary.

Some 43% off the shareholding is held by the main dairy companies and, according to Teagasc Director Gerry Boyle, Teagasc is in the process of getting each of the dairy companies signed up to this expansion programme. He said the dairy companies see it as complimenting their own investments.

However, the investment is only one aspect of improving the reach and scope of MTL he said. MTL must also be run on a 24/7 basis, he said, with three shifts, as the demand is there from companies for this level of work.

“That will be a big challenge for us, in a public sector context to get right, but that hopefully will be finalised in the early autumn.”

According to Gerry Boyle the return on investment form research is very high. He said generally speaking, you get very high returns from research in agriculture, compared to other industries.

“Construction, for example, would generally reap a 5-6% return on investment whereas in research we find in excess of 40% return.” He said the reason for this is that if you make a breakthrough in research the benefit is persistent and cumulative.

“In research when you succeed you get big, big hits and we have had significant benefits. If the sexed semen works out in practice and is adopted (which is what clinches the benefits) it will be hugely significant.”

He noted that there have been exception returns from the dairy levy which brings in in the region of €2 million per year. “I don’t think farmers would continue to support if it did not give them returns,” he said.