Moorepark Research Centre for Agriculture, Ireland
A number of the Grasslands team and I have been fortunate enough to attend a study tour to Moorepark Research Centre for Agriculture in Ireland. The few days we spent over there were both very informative, and enjoyable.
One of the aims of visiting Moorepark is to ensure that as a company, Grasslands are at the cutting edge of innovation and technological development. While in Ireland we visited a number of their research farms which illustrated how the technological advances can be adapted in practice on our farms. Out vet Ed Haynes also attended the tour and therefore he will be critical to supporting us in the implementation of the findings.
Firstly the topic of grazing techniques was discussed with regards to the optimal residuals at different times of year to maximise growth/utilisation/cow performance with everybody taking good note for next year’s grazing period.
Grass variety choice was another good area covered looking at the diploid/tetraploid balance of leys and their production and persistence. Several of these varieties have now been sourced for use within the Grasslands business. This will be used next year where real pressure will be placed on achieving a 10% re seeding policy on all farms including the youngstock units.
Out wintering created some good discussions regarding fibre supplement with fodder beet. A reallygood follow on discussion developed on the coach with a wide range of views and knowledge being expressed on this topic.
The herd health topic was something that the group felt they could have spent all day discussing. Everyone gained a huge amount from it and this subsequently has led to the formation of a herd health discussion group within Grasslands.
Finally we were given the opportunity to see a robot milker in action. This was interesting, although not very relevant for our situation. However, the thought of boys and their toys springs to mind.
For more information on the Moorepark Research Centre, go to their website at: