- Date: 8 Nov 2018
- Venue: Greenmount Campus
The Ulster Grassland Society held a successful dairy seminar at Greemount Campus addressing a number of topical issues facing farmers this year. Given the challenging weather conditions over the summer months and possible fodder shortages for the up coming winter it was felt that members would benefit from hearing the experience of other farmers facing similar challenges.
Following a welcome from UGS President John Milligan the seminar opened with a panel discussion involving three young farmers and chaired by Ian McCluggage, UGS past President. The panelists were Chris Catherwood, Newtownards; Reggie Lilburn, Dromore and Gregg Somerville, Dromara who each outlined their own dairy farming system and how the grass growing season had been affected by the summer drought. The discussion highlighted the different dairy systems on each farm and how each had adapted to climatic and indeed other challenges faced by the business.
The discussion then widened with questions from the audience on long term objectives, breeding policy, reseeding and siliage systems with everyone very impressed with the enthusiasm of each of the panelists for their business and dairy farming in general.
This was followed by an informative and interesting presentation by Andrew Wright on how he is dealing with the impact of soil compaction on his dairy farm at Omagh. By utilising technology and mapping he has increased his knowledge of compaction on the farm and adapted farming practice and cutting edge technology to minimise the effects of compaction and improve grass yields. Some of these ideas were challenged and discussed during a useful question and answer sessions which followed. To view a copy of Andrew’s presentation CLICK HERE
The morning session concluded with a thought provoking presentation from Dr Mike Johnston from Dairy UK who discussed current market conditions for dairy products and the outlook for milk markets particularly in light of United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union next spring. To view a copy of Mike’s presentation CLICK HERE.
Following lunch the afternoon spent touring CAFRE’s dairy unit led by Martin Mulholland, looking at the herd performance, grazing management, feeding of milking dry cows and breeding policy. There was great interaction from those attending which generated useful questions and debate.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks from the UGS President- elect Jim Freeburn.