A New Dairy Programme for New Times

IRELAND - A dairy advisory programme has been launched that aims to help milk producers increase their products. The programme is the result of a joint collaboration between Teagasc and Tipperary Co-op, released at a dairy seminar in Dundrum, County Tipperary today Tuesday, 5 February by the Director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle.
calendar icon 7 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

According to Teagasc, this new dairy advisory programme will focus on improving profit and milk quality for Tipperary Co-op milk suppliers. Through the Teagasc Business and Technology Advisory Programme, the most up to date applied technology will be transferred onto dairy farmers in the co-op’s catchment area. The new progarmme will be based around a one-to-one advisory service, targeted workshops, discussion groups, monitor farms, grass budgeting courses, and farm walks.

"This new three year joint programme will ensure that our members will continue to benefit from Teagasc advice and research"
Chief executive of Tipperary Co-op Tim Dullea.

Speaking at the seminar, Teagasc area manager for Tipperary, Donal Mullane said: “The new Teagasc/Tipperary Co-op programme will assist milk suppliers to improve their livelihood at this time when the dairy industry is undergoing the greatest period of change since the implementation of milk quotas. Our joint dairy programme is based on breeding higher EBI cows, efficient grass production and utilisation and monitoring the profit of the farm business.”

Chief executive of Tipperary Co-op Tim Dullea said: “Tipperary Co-op has worked closely with Teagasc in the past to the benefit of our milk suppliers. This new three year joint programme will ensure that our members will continue to benefit from Teagasc advice and research, and from working with each other through discussion groups to share information. It is planned to increase the numbers participating in discussion groups by 30 per cent. A new added innovative and imaginative element sees a tripartite project involving Tipperary Co-op, Teagasc and Keenan Nutrition. This programme element will explore what is best practice for producers with diet system facilities.”

A series of targeted workshops to help dairy farmers with the specific areas of nutrition, infrastructure, milk quality, and veterinary areas will take place at the appropriate times of the year. The workshops will be provided by Teagasc advisory and research personnel. All producers will be encouraged and assisted to produce a farm plan and vision statement for their business.

Monitor farms will be selected and will receive intensive advice on a monthly basis. The targets for these farms will be to increase milk quota by 10 per cent, lift milk protein by 0.03 per cent, lower milk production costs, and achieve the highest milk quality standards.

Grass budgeting courses will be organised for dairy farmers, to equip producers to develop their grassland management skills which will allow them to maximise their profits from grass.

There will be two major farm walks held each year, focussing on profitability and milk quality. These will take place on the monitor farms and at the Teagasc Solohead research farm.

This is the fourth joint dairy programme between Teagasc and Tipperary Co-op. Results from the last three-year programme were presented and showed that average herd EBI on the monitor farms increased from €31 to €52 between 2004 and 2007. Common profit increased from 13.4 cent per litre to 17.5 cent per litre on these farms last year, despite common costs increasing from 13.2c/l to 15.7c/l.

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