European grassland experts meet in Ireland

Pictured at the official opening of the 27th European Grassland Federation (EGF) 2018 General Meeting

Pictured at the official opening of the 27th European Grassland Federation (EGF) 2018 General Meeting

Caption: Pictured at the official opening of the 27th European Grassland Federation (EGF) 2018 General Meeting are Margie Egan, Teagasc Moorepark; Dr. Frank O'Mara, EGF President, Dr. Willy Kessler, Switzerland, Secretary EGF; Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director; Dr. Deirdre Hennessy, Teagasc Moorepark and Dr. Emer Kennedy, Teagasc Moorepark. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

The European Grassland Federation (EGF) conference is taking place in Cork this week with over 450 delegates from 31 countries attending.

This is the 27th meeting, and the first time the EGF conference returns to Ireland since 1988.

The week-long international event was officially opened by Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director, on Sunday when he spoke to the theme of the event ‘Sustainable Meat and Milk Production from Grasslands’.

This year’s conference has introduced new grassland research areas. Also the grazing Working Group and Masterclass visited Teagasc on Sunday, and allowed delegates to experience at first hand the grazing management tools, technologies and measurements in research and on farm.

Dr Michael O’Donovan, Teagasc and chairman of the EGF organising committee, remarked; “the farm tours will allow the conference delegates to experience top class grassland farms, grass and clover evaluation, and smart technologies on farms. It is great that some of the winners from the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in 2017 will host farm visits. The farms of both Eddie O’Donnell and Ger Dineen will be visited. The other farms on the tours are also well worth visiting; Sean Dennehy is an outstanding sheep farmer, and John MacNamara and Donal Sheehan are excellent dairy farmers.”

The content of the conference programme has changed, to a more modern, enterprising format with Big Data and Smart Technology as new sessions in the conference, as well as incorporating a workshop on Knowledge Transfer.

There are more than 70 scientific papers on these topics, indicating their growing importance in the international grassland research community. Teagasc have developed an offline App for Android devices for Pasturebase Ireland (Ireland’s national grassland database).

The conference runs from Sunday, June 17, to Thursday June 21.