Starting on Monday 21 September and continuing until Friday 25 September, Teagasc will be bringing you the latest research from its sheep research centre in Athenry and the best technical advice and information available to sheep producers around Ireland. The Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week is supported by FBD.
Information on grassland, genetic improvement, flock health, hill sheep as well as environmental and policy issues will be highlighted along with the latest developments in sheep farming.
Join the live stream each evening at 7pm on https://www.teagasc.ie/corporate-events/virtual-sheep-week/ or www.facebook.com/teagasc. No registration required.
On Teagasc social media channels, Teagasc will be posting videos and updates throughout the Virtual Sheep Week. Follow the week’s activities by staying tuned to the Teagasc social media channels, or by searching #VirtualSheepWeek for all information posted.
Grassland on Monday
Learn how good grassland management can supply high-quality digestible pastures to the grazing ewe and her lambs. The live panel discussion on Monday 21 September will be led by Damian Costello, sheep specialist with Teagasc, and will focus on the current grassland research for sheep and grazing management strategies that can be applied at farm level and will feature panellists Philip Creighton and Micheál O’Leary of Teagasc along with special guest John O’Connell, Teagasc Sheep BETTER Farmer from Co Leitrim.
Breeding and genetics on Tuesday
Find out how improving genetics can improve the performance of the animals in your flock. The live panel discussion on Tuesday led by Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer with Teagasc, will focus on the importance of using high genetic merit animals in your flock, incorporating results from phase one of the Irish/New Zealand Animal Comparison (INZAC) study; the importance of commercial on-farm recording in making breeding decisions and the potential of using genetics to reduce labour at lambing and breed animals with a reduced carbon ‘hoof’ print will be covered. The panel discussion will feature panellists Fiona McGovern and Aine O’Brien, Teagasc, along with special guest Eamonn Wall of Sheep Ireland.
Hill Sheep and store lambs highlighted on Wednesday
Hill sheep farming is carried out on a diverse range of land quality and farming systems and plays a vital role in Irish agriculture and also in the maintenance of delicate landscapes. On Wednesday, 23 September view the recent and current Teagasc research on developing systems for finishing hill bred store lambs, and the results from the Teagasc BETTER Hill Sheep Farms. The live panel discussion on Wednesday evening led by Michael Diskin, Teagasc Sheep Enterprise Leader, will feature panellists Frank Campion and John Cannon of Teagasc along with guest speakers Brendan Joyce, hill sheep farmer and chairperson of Atlantic Hill Lamb Producer Group, and Patrick Dunne, BETTER Farm Sheep Farmer.
Keep your Flock Healthy - Thursday
Having a flock with a high health status is a critical corner stone to improving flock productivity and profitability. On Thursday, 24 September, tune in to learn the key factors impacting flock health status. The live panel discussion will be led by Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer with Teagasc and will feature panellists Orla Keane and Tim Keady of Teagasc, along with Maresa Sheehan from the Veterinary Laboratory in Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Topics such as internal parasite control, mineral nutrition, lamb survivability and correct quarantine and biosecurity protocols will all be discussed.
Get the latest on policy and environment on Friday
On the last day of the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week we will discuss the likely policy changes and the important role that sheep farming plays in marinating the natural environment. Guest speaker on that evening, Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, will join to discuss the challenges faced by farmers on the hills and uplands. Other panellists include Kevin Hanrahan, Head of Rural Economy with Teagasc; Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc; and Jack Nolan from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The discussion facilitated by Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle will focus on national and EU policy and environment affecting sheep production.
All sheep farmers are welcome. Join the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Week on any of the Teagasc online platforms this week and get the best technical information and the latest research and advice. Log on to www.teagasc.ie/virtualsheepweek to follow the weeks events.