CAFRE farm walks will highlight challenges and opportunities for local dairy farms

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) are hosting a series of four on-farm events for dairy farmers on Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8, Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 June.

The events will be hosted in Coleraine, Newry, Newtownstewart and Aughnacloy and are open to all farmers.

There will be an opportunity to attend each farm at two time slots, 11am and 1pm.

Light refreshments will be provided.

CAFRE Adviser Michael Verner with Geoffrey Malcomson highlighting the importance that home grown grass is the best resource farmers have at their disposal to reduce costs which will be discussed during the event on the family’s farm in Newry.

Advertisement

At these events, CAFRE Advisers will be addressing challenges and opportunities currently facing the local dairy industry.

Topics will include:

- Management of dairy production costs

- Costs of feeding the dairy cow

Advertisement

Matthew Workman pictured with his wife Helen and CAFRE Senior Adviser Alan Agnew and CAFRE Adviser Elizabeth Calvin discussing fertiliser response and application rates, which will be a major focus of upcoming CAFRE events in Aghadowey.

- Grazing management

- Soil fertility and grassland performance

- Reseeding and clover

Advertisement

Encouraging farmers to attend, Don Morrow, Head of Dairy Branch at CAFRE, said: “This year is very challenging for dairy farmers.

David Hunter with CAFRE Dairy Adviser Trevor Alcorn discussing the impact grass measurement can have on quality and yield in the run up to events on David’s farm in Newtownstewart.

“Escalating costs are causing concern among the farming community.

“It is essential that farmers maximise the use of grass and silage and try to reduce the reliance on purchased feeds.

Advertisement

“These events offer the opportunity to see at first-hand how local farmers are coping in this difficult year.

“The event will cover how to maximise grass growth and utilisation and reseeding, with particular emphasis on improving soil fertility.

Philip Kyle and the local CAFRE Advisers, Alan Hopps and Gavin Duffy, assessing clover swards, which will be featured during the event on the family’s farm in Aughnacloy.

“The events will also focus on measuring and monitoring costs and what opportunities there are to make savings.”

Advertisement

In the interests of biosecurity, those attending are asked to wear clean clothing not previously worn while in direct contact with their own animals. Protective overalls and footwear will be provided.

For further details, visit: www.cafre.ac.uk/events