Dairy exports reach €4bn, farmers hear at open day

Dairy exports reach €4bn, farmers hear at open day
Thousands of farmers attended Moorepark 2019, the Irish Dairying Growing Sustainably open day in Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy Co Cork. Picture: O'Gorman Photography.

Exports of Irish dairy products and ingredients have risen to over €4bn in 2018, having averaged €1.84bn from 2007 to 2009, thousands of farmers heard at Teagasc Dairy Open Day, at Moorepark, in Fermoy, Co Cork.

The huge attendance heard Irish milk production increased to 7.57bn litres in 2018 and looks set to reach 8bn litres this year, as output continues to grow since the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015.

As well as discussing the theme of ‘The Challenges and Opportunities of Continued Expansion’, the open day featured a series of talks, displays and the launch of a Dairy Farm Infrastructure Workbook, produced by Teagasc and Ulster Bank.

The workbook will help farmers to plan improvements in the areas of grazing infrastructure, milking practices and energy use.

One of the workbook’s authors, John Upton of Teagasc, said: “Farmers need to carefully monitor and control energy use.

The economics of new technologies should be assessed to facilitate effective cost control and use efficiency.

Pat Tuohy from Teagasc, Moorepark, co-author of the workbook, said: “A well-designed, carefully built and properly maintained farm roadway system has many benefits, including, less lameness, less mastitis and better general animal health, faster and easier stock movement, cleaner cows and milk, less roadway maintenance and more efficient paddock access.”

Teagasc director Gerry Boyle warned dairy farmers that the dairy industry is facing a number of challenges, namely climate change, water quality, remaining competitive, access to markets, and availability of skilled labour.

“The challenge is to grow the business sustainably,” said Mr Boyle.

In relation to climate change, Teagasc has produced guidelines for the dairy sector, identifying key actions that need to be undertaken to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

Liam Herlihy, chair of Teagasc said: “The knowledge available in Moorepark will help dairy farmers to inform themselves of the latest technologies to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges they face.”

Meanwhile, Teagasc also updated the gathering on its food research programme, which supports food companies to innovate and develop new products.

Teagasc artisan food specialist Eddie O’Neill, who is based in Teagasc Moorepark, highlighted the opportunities for startups, or existing food companies, to avail of the expertise and facilities in Teagasc.

More on this topic

Seafood sector needs to have an innovation driveSeafood sector needs to have an innovation drive

EU deal with Mercosur faces many high hurdlesEU deal with Mercosur faces many high hurdles

Teagasc and IMP Group enter new potato dealTeagasc and IMP Group enter new potato deal

‘Green-fingered’ students transform gardens‘Green-fingered’ students transform gardens

More in this Section

€100m worth of dangerous items in fake foods and drinks seized across Europe€100m worth of dangerous items in fake foods and drinks seized across Europe

Minister opts not to allow August road hedge cuttingMinister opts not to allow August road hedge cutting

European farmer co-ops urge AGRI to conclude CAP talks and oppose negative effects of Mercusor dealEuropean farmer co-ops urge AGRI to conclude CAP talks and oppose negative effects of Mercusor deal

Mushroom composters recognise importance of local straw supply after shortages Mushroom composters recognise importance of local straw supply after shortages


Lifestyle

A topic I find myself discussing a lot in the therapeutic space is that of shouting. Of course, we all raise our voices from time to time when dealing with our children.Learning Points: Shouting drowns out the message you want heard

Róisín O is one half of Thanks Brother with John Broe.A Question of Taste: Róisín O

Keen to boost her borders without breaking the bank, Hannah Stephenson consults Mark Gregory of Channel 5’s ‘The Great Gardening Challenge’.Gardening on a budget? We'll show you how

More From The Irish Examiner