The Teagasc dairy conference, which was due to take place in person in Cork and Athlone on 23 and 24 November, has been changed to a virtual event following an update to COVID-19 guidelines on Tuesday.

The virtual dairy conference 2021, Meeting Challenges with Technology, will now include live broadcasts via zoom on both mornings from 10am to 11.30am.

Conference recordings will be published on the Teagasc website following the event, with all speakers and discussion featured.

Head of dairy knowledge transfer at Teagasc Dr Joe Patton encouraged all farmers to join the now virtual event.

Mixed year

Speaking ahead of the conference, Patton described 2021 as a “mixed year” for dairy farmers, saying: “Broadly, it [2021] has been positive in relation to both weather conditions and milk price, however there have been plenty of stressors to contend with such as ongoing concerns around COVID-19, the increased focus on dairy farming’s position in the climate debate and of course a sharp rise in input prices.”

He said that Teagasc is “keenly aware” of the implications of these factors for farm practices and profitability and that he hopes the conference will offer an opportunity for “constructive discussion” of these issues.

Event

Teagasc director Professor Frank O’Mara will deliver a key note address at the event. He will speak on the topic Meeting climate obligations – a pathway for the dairy industry, following the publication of the Government’s Climate Action Plan earlier this month.

Panel discussions will focus on the future direction of Ireland’s dairy breeding programme, practical advice for improved farm efficiency, grazing management and clover establishment.

Event details are available on the Teagasc website and anyone who originally booked tickets for the in-person event will be contacted over the coming days.