Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 23 November 2017

Liquid milk gurus gear up for Teagasc event

The Teagasc National Liquid Milk Conference takes place tomorrow week at the Talbot Hotel, Wexford.

The conference, sponsored by Ulster Bank, is being held against a backdrop of rising feed costs that threaten farm margins.

Teagasc analysis shows that production costs were 3c/l higher on liquid milk farms compared with the average spring milk farm last year.

Teagasc nutrition specialist Dr Siobhan Kavanagh will evaluate the feedstuffs currently available and identify which feeds are overpriced and which represent the best value for money.

Dr Joe Patton, Teagasc's liquid milk specialist based at Grange, will review the performance of the liquid milk research herd at Johnstown Castle.

Two years of research has now been completed with the winter calving herd.

With almost 6,900 litres of milk delivered per cow and up to 28,000 litres delivered per hectare from the high stocking rate group, they're placed in the top 5pc and 1pc respectively of liquid milk herds this year.

At the conference, details will be presented on the diets fed to the herd and and there will be a review of the reproductive and financial performance of the herd from the past two years.

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Luke O'Grady, from UCD's veterinary college, completes the morning line-up of speakers at the conference. Advice on controlling metabolic diseases in high-yielding liquid milk herds will form the focus of his talk.

In the afternoon, delegates move to the Johnstown Castle dairy research facility. Among the topics being discussed at the farm are guidelines on grazing practices for autumn-calving cows, bull selection guidelines for liquid milk herds, and managing soil phosphorus levels on high-input farms.

Irish Independent