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Annual Conference 2016

Event Details

  • Date: 26 Jan 2016
  • Venue: The Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim

The 2106 UGS Annual Conference took place at a new venue, the Dunsilly Hotel Antrim on Tuesday 26th January.

The theme of the Conference was “Growing and Utilising more grass, where does it all begin?“.  A large audience of around 200 heard 4 excellent presentations after the Society’s Annual General Meeting. The new 2016 President Mark Blelock, presided over the conference.

The first speaker was Jo Scamell with a presentation entitled “Healthy Soils – Healthy Forage – Healthy livestock”.  Jo runs an independent company, Ground Level Nutrition Ltd, working in soil, forage and livestock nutrition management and consultancy. This work relates progressive soil management to efficient nutrient utilisation and the subsequent impact on livestock health. Jo is working closely with Kingshay and others to further develop the soil improvement service, allowing the benefits of a focused approach on soil management to be more widely available.  To view presentation click Here.

This was followed by Dr Stan Lalor with a presentation entitled “Harnessing Soils to Maximise Farm Profitability“.  Stanis head of speciality with Grassland Agro. He was formerly a research worker in Teagasc before mobbing to his present position. Stan has carried out a lot of research into soil fertility and management. Stan outlined how to improve soil fertility so as to increase grass production. He also focused on practical and simple tips for getting best value out of both slurry and purchased fertilisers on the farm.  To view the presentation, click Here.

After lunch the speaker was Francis Breen who is a Programme adviser in the Northern Ireland Suckler Beef Programme which is a joint initiative between the Irish Farmers Journal, CAFRE and ABP meat processors. The aim of the programme is to generate a roadmap to profitable beef production from the suckler herd. The Programme focuses on; Breeding / fertility; Grassland management; and Increasing output.  The title of Francis’ talk was “Grass, growing more, grazing better experiences from the NISBP“.

The final speaker was Michael Murphy who is a partner in a commercial dairy farm in Ireland and is a director of substantial dairy farming businesses in New Zealand, USA and Chile. For the past 45 years, he has been a strong practitioner and proponent of grass-based milk production and has brought 10 dairy study tours to New Zealand in the past 15 years. He is a co-founder and director of the Positive Farmers Conference. The title of Michael’s talk was “Growing and utilising more grass – approach at farm level“.  To view the presentation, click Here.