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Kildalton Sustainable Dairy Farm Open Day

Agribusiness All Beef Co-op Corporate Dairy

The Kildalton Open Source Sustainable Dairy Demonstration Farm is a joint initiative between GI and Teagasc, up and running since January 2016 to demonstrate best sustainable dairy management practices that will deliver economic and environmental benefits that can be replicated on GIanbia Ireland (GI) supplier’s farms.

While storm Ophelia may have knocked the day off course last October the sun did not deter those who attended this inaugural open day on July 5th 2018. This time there were lessons to be learnt about drought management in terms of herd management, grass management and feed management. With over 500 in attendance on the day, all were in agreement that it was a very important and a successful event well worth repeating in the future.

On the day there was a number of presenting stands where subject matter experts from both Teagasc and Glanbia spoke on topics including:

  • Herd Management
  • Grass management
  • Nutrient management & soil fertility
  • The Importance of clover
  • Sustainability in the market place
  • Carbon and water regulations
  • The importance of drought and feed

Three interactive Exhibition areas included stands and a wide variety of practical demonstrations e.g.

  • GHGs and machinery to help reduce GHGs
  • Potential for energy savings and renewable energy (SEAI & John Upton Teagasc)
  • Health & Safety (Irish Heart Foundation Blood Pressure Clinic)
  • On line tools e.g. Carbon Navigator, NMP Online and the eProfit Monitor

Key Message for suppliers from the day

  • The Glanbia Ireland farm advisory team are there to help and advise so PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
  • Have your soils tested and act on liming and fertiliser recommendations
  • Clover has a very important role to play in dairy grassland management
  • Recycle the nutrient value of slurry to target areas e.g. silage ground, low fertility land.
  • High EBI cows are more productive
  • Match stocking rate to grass growth potential
  • Transparency is essential as customers are now demanding full visibility on topics such as Origin, Animal Welfare, Carbon footprint and Grass Fed
  • Home and Dairy scheme grants available from SEAI
  • Mind your health and wellbeing. In this weather it means plenty of water and sunscreen but don’t forget about the men’s health initiatives being run in your local branch in conjunction with the Irish heart foundation.

First Published 9 July 2018

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