Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week: Latest technical information, research and advice

Tune into Virtual Sheep Week on all Teagasc online platforms from Monday, September 21, to  Friday, September 25, where Teagasc will be bringing you the best technical information and the latest research and advice available to sheep producers around Ireland.

Enjoy updates each day showcasing the ongoing research and advisory work in the areas of grassland, genetic improvement, flock health, hill sheep as well as information on environmental and policy issues.

No registration is required. Join the live stream each evening at 7:00pm online or on Facebook. Teagasc will be dedicating the week to sheep and will be posting videos and updates throughout each day.

Follow the week’s activities by staying tuned to the social media channels or by searching #VirtualSheepWeek for all information posted.

Live stream each evening

Monday

On Monday, September 21, learn about how good grassland management can supply high-quality digestible pastures to the grazing ewe and her lambs.

The live panel discussion that evening, led by Damian Costello, sheep specialist with Teagasc, will focus on the current grassland research for sheep and grazing management strategies that can be applied at farm level.

The panel will also feature panelists Philip Creighton and Micheál O’Leary of Teagasc, along with special guest John O’Connell, Teagasc Sheep BETTER farmer from Co. Leitrim.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, September 22, find out how improving genetics can improve the performance of the animals in your flock.

The live panel discussion on Tuesday, led by Michael Gottstein, will focus on the importance of using high genetic merit animals in your flock, incorporating results from phase one of the Irish New Zealand Animal Comparison (INZAC) study; the importance of commercial on-farm recording in making breeding decisions; and the potential of using genetics to reduce labour at lambing and breed animals with a reduced carbon ‘hoof’print will be covered.

The panel discussion will feature panellists Fiona McGovern and Aine O’Brien, Teagasc, along with special guest Eamonn Wall of Sheep Ireland.

Wednesday

Hill sheep farming is carried out on a diverse range of land quality and farming systems and plays a vital role in Irish agriculture and also in the maintenance of delicate landscapes.

On Wednesday, September 23, view the recent and current Teagasc research on developing systems for finishing hill-bred store lambs and see the results from the Teagasc BETTER hill sheep farms.

The live panel discussion on Wednesday evening, led by Michael Diskin, Teagasc sheep enterprise leader, will feature panellists Frank Campion and John Cannon of Teagasc; along with guest speakers Brendan Joyce, hill sheep farmer and chairperson of Atlantic Hill Lamb Producer Group and Patrick Dunne, BETTER farm sheep farmer.

Thursday

Having a high health status of your flock is a critical cornerstone to improving flock productivity and profitability.

On Thursday, September 24, tune in to learn the key factors impacting flock health status. The live panel discussion will be led by Michael Gottstein and will feature panellists Orla Keane and Tim Keady of Teagasc, along with Maresa Sheehan from the Veterinary Laboratory in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Topics such as internal parasite control, mineral nutrition, lamb survivability and correct quarantine and biosecurity protocols will all be discussed.

Friday

Finally, on the last day of the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week, the likely policy changes and the important role that sheep farming plays in maintaining the natural environment will be discussed.

Friday’s live panel discussion, led by Teagasc director-professor Gerry Boyle, with panellists Kevin Hanrahan, head of rural economy with Teagasc; Michael Gottstein, Teagasc; and Jack Nolan of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will focus on national and EU policy and environment affecting sheep production.

Guest speaker on that evening, Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, will join to discuss the challenges faced by farmers on the hills and uplands.

Tune in next week

The Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week is a must for any sheep producer looking for the best technical information and the latest research and advice. Be sure to tune in next week at: www.teagasc.ie/virtualsheepweek.