SheepNet to hold Irish workshop in June

SheepNet will hold its next transnational workshop in Ireland this June with the final seminar taking place in France at the beginning of September.

The EU network recently held its fourth Transnational Workshop in Alghero – a town north-west of Sardinia – where there is an important sheep farming industry focused on cheese production.

The workshop was attended by over 80 participants representing stakeholders from the seven SheepNet countries, and from Hungary, Israel, Brazil and Finland.

“The event focused on sharing and evaluating tools used in different countries to disseminate the Body Condition Scoring (BCS) ewes, and on the uptake of Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) and its potential benefits to the sheep sector,” Dr. Alan Bohan and Dr. Tim Keady, Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation programme, Athenry, Co. Galway, said.

“It began with a presentation on the Italian sheep sector which pointed to how Sardinia contains approximately 45% of the Italian sheep flock and produces 65% of the Italian sheep milk production; around 300 million kg of milk processed into 50,000t of cheese.”

Meanwhile, an interesting debate between participants and a panel of four farmers from France, Italy Turkey and UK, who routinely rely on EID to manage their farms, also took place during the event.

“The main conclusion was that PLF generally increases efficiency and profitability of farms but its implementation must be accurately modulated according to the farm size,” the Teagasc spokespeople added.

“The cost of PLF is a limiting factor and many farmers indicated that it would not be a viable purchase without grant aid support.”

SheepNet is open to all EU countries, stakeholders and sheep producers.