The dairy tour at this weekend's Macra Annual Conference is sure to be an insightful day out for anyone with a keen interest in dairy farming or with the dream of setting up a dairy enterprise in the future.
First on the agenda is a visit to Mike Dunne's farm, a dairy farmer based outside Kilworth, Co. Cork.
Mike runs a dairy farm in partnership with his father, Tom, and his uncle, Michael. Their herd consists of 370 Norwegian Red and Holstein-Friesian cows with the ambition to milk a full pedigree herd of Norwegian Reds in the future.
AgriLand's technical dairy journalist, Emma Gilsenan, visited Mike's farm this week and like attendees to the tour was keen to find out why they decided to move over to the Norwegian Red breed and how he finds milking through his impressive 60-unit DeLaval rotary parlour.
Having grown the business over the years, it will be interesting to find out what the future holds for the farm or whether they have reached their cut-off point.
While on Mike's farm, the visitors will hear from Ed Moakley, a dairy farmer and a dairy advisor working with Teagasc.
Ed is a new dairy entrant who recently converted a greenfield site where he is currently milking 40 cows through a VMS DeLaval robot - with the plan to work towards 60 cows in the future.
Ed will be giving a presentation on how he juggles his off-farm job with his new dairy enterprise, along with the reasoning behind why he decided to set up a new dairy farm and how he went about it
Other topics to be discussed by Ed include: The challenges faced in setting up for a robot; the five-year plan; the use of TAMS [Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme] and other schemes; and financing the project.
Date, time and booking
Farm tours take place at Macra's Annual Conference this Saturday, October 26. Tillage and machinery; dairy; and beef tours all depart at 10:00am from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Little Island, Co. Cork.
To book your place on a farm tour click [button link="https://www.macra.ie/macra-skillnet"]here[/button]
Macra's Annual Conference also takes place on Friday, October 25, at Corrin Event Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, from 1:30pm to 4:50pm. Attendance is free of charge, but booking is essential.
To book your place at the conference click [button link="https://www.macra.ie/macra-skillnet"]here[/button]