A joint programme to provide family farms with the skills and technologies to operate sustainable dairy systems has been launched by Glanbia Ireland and Teagasc.
The Open Source Future Farm is the latest evolution of the Teagasc/Glanbia Ireland knowledge-transfer programme.
The farmers will be shown how to harness new technology and practices.
Eleven farm families in Laois, Waterford, Kildare, Cork, Kilkenny, Meath, Wexford, Wicklow, and Tipperary are participating in the programme.
Ranging in size from 120 to 320 cows, the farms will be part of the EU-funded Smart Agri Hubs dairy project, with meters installed to monitor and improve water and energy usage.
Digital technologies and practices will improve labour efficiency. Farmers will learn how to streamline their operation to deliver lean management practices.
Glanbia Ireland’s chief executive, Jim Bergin, said a key objective of the programme was to help farmers implement changes to ensure that their environmental footprint was in line with the aims of the national Climate Action Plan.
Glanbia Ireland chairman Martin Keane and Teagasc chairman Liam Herlihy thanked the farm families for agreeing to participate in the programme.
Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc director, said farming systems have to evolve to tackle multiple challenges.
“This is especially true now, in relation to the multi-faceted sustainability challenge, including the need to improve water quality, reduce agricultural emissions, and maintain biodiversity,” he said.