Tipperary man's lead role at Dairygold Dairy Day Event

Animal health and nutrition

John O'Gorman Dairygold

Tipperary's John O'Gorman, Chairman Dairygold, is pictured at the Dairygold dairy day in Corrin Mart, Fermoy on 'Setting up your dairy farm for success this Spring.' Photo O'Gorman Photography.

At a packed “Dairygold Dairy Day” event, last Friday, January 12, in Corrin Event Centre, Fermoy Dairygold Agribusiness and partner companies preceded a conference with informative stands to advise farmers on animal health, calf nutrition and other dairy farm necessities in advance of the calving season.

In opening the conference Seamus O’Mahony, Head of Sales & Marketing, Dairygold Agribusiness, gave an insight into the recent Dairygold Farmers’ Survey 2017. Citing the plans, opportunities and challenges being faced by farmers and setting objectives for the meeting, Seamus noted

Labour is a significant issue for many farmers in 2018 and beyond with over 530 labour units required on dairy farms across the spring. Many farmers are looking outside the farm gate for labour, contractors and other mechanisms to reduce the long hours being worked on farm

From 2018 to 2022 Dairygold Member farmers intend to increase milk supply by more than 16% .

Efficiencies in labour, management and capital resources such as cows, technology and facilities need to be reviewed at farm level to ensure a sustainable lifestyle

Nationally Irish Dairy farmers have been at a low output due to milk quota but milk solids per cow have improved in recent years since cows with the uptake of breeding, grass and feeding technologies with a 20kg of milk solids increase in 2017 alone

Dr. Stan Lalor of Grassland AGRO highlighted the importance of building a simple and easy-to-implement fertiliser programme for the farm. Using up to date soil sample results, every farm should build a simple fertiliser programme for the farm.

John Newbold, Head of Technical, Animal Nutrition, Volac; spoke on getting very young calves off to the best start. This requires “a high feeding rate of a milk replacer that provides the complex mix of proteins found naturally in milk in very early lactation”.

Dr Karina Pierce Associate Professor of Dairy Production in UCD gave some significant learnings in her presentation “Managing a High Producing Spring Calving Dairy Herd – The Learning from 2017”.

Weekly updates of the UCD Lyons research herd can be found at www.ucd.ie/agfood/about/lyonsresearchfarm/lyonssystemsresearchherdnotes