Sustainable dairy open day to kick off in Kildalton tomorrow
A sustainability open day is due to take place at Kildalton Farm, Co. Kilkenny, tomorrow (Thursday, July 5) in a joint dairy demonstration between Teagasc and Glanbia.
Running from 10:00am through to 2:00pm, the event will demonstrate the science behind better environmental management practices as applied to an intensive farm such as Kildalton.
The open day will be a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved Knowledge Transfer (KT) event.
It was originally supposed to take place last October, however, the demonstration day had to be postponed due to Storm Ophelia.
- Station 1 – market place perspective;
- Station 2 – Kildalton Dairy Herd;
- Station 3 – nutrient management and soil fertility;
- Station 4 – clover benefits in grass;
- Station 5 – slurry use and application;
- Station 6 – water quality commitments.
There will also be an exhibit village with displays to include topics such as: biodiversity; energy use; Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) and carbon navigators; animal welfare; and collaborative farming among others
There will be an indoor area for technology with representatives from Glanbia Connect, Pasturebase Ireland and eProfit, to name a few.
Other companies attending will include Bord Bia, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Irish Heart Foundation and Finance Ireland.
Refreshments will also be provided, according to the organisers.
The open day will focus on improving farm sustainability through a number of aspects, including: efficient cows; optimal soil fertility; adding clover to pastures; and recycling nutrients from the animal.
Speaking ahead of the event, Teagasc director Prof. Gerry Boyle said the ‘Kildalton Open Source Sustainable Dairy Demonstration Farm’ was established to show farmers how to farm more sustainably.
“It builds upon the large body of research and knowledge-transfer experience in Teagasc, and draws on international knowledge to showcase solutions to the economic and environmental sustainability challenges facing Irish farmers,” Prof. Boyle said.
Meanwhile, Glanbia Ireland CEO Jim Bergin has stressed that for farmers, sustainability should not be seen as a huge threat or a huge cost.
Bergin hailed Kildalton farm as demonstrating “the best sustainable management practices that will deliver economic and environmental benefits on Irish dairy farms”.
The CEO added: “The key to sustainability is adoption of best practice – the open day provides a great opportunity to learn more about this key topic for all of us.”