Worm control, farming sustainably and improved genetics will all be discussed at the Teagasc national lowland sheep conferences this year.

They will take place at the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, on Tuesday 28 January and in the Springhill Court Hotel, Kilkenny, on Thursday 30 January.

Soil science researcher David Wall, from Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, will present a paper on how sheep farmers can use nutrients to meet grazing and environmental targets on sheep farms.

Protected urea

He will outline how using protected urea can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how slurry and farmyard manure can be applied to optimise the nutrients for grass growth and minimise emissions.

Teagasc sheep geneticist Noirín McHugh will outline how the use of improved genetics can boost lamb production on farms in Ireland, through increased litter size and lamb growth rates.

She will emphasise the importance and benefits of having data from commercial flocks and how this improves the sheep breeding indices in Ireland.

Worm control

Stomach and gut worms in sheep have developed resistance to anthelmintics (wormers) on many farms in Ireland and this is now a major challenge, not only on these farms, but for the wider sheep industry.

Teagasc researcher Orla Keane will outline sustainable strategies for stomach worm control and steps for farmers to take when selecting and administering wormers to slow the further development of resistance.

John O’Connell farms near Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, and is a participant in the Teagasc Better Farm Sheep Programme.

He is working to a business plan to develop his sheep enterprise. He will outline his plan for growing his farm, discussing the challenges he has encountered and the progress made to date in implementing his plan.

The conferences start at 6pm, are free to attend and all sheep farmers are welcome.

The Teagasc Hill Sheep Conference will take place on 19 February in Donegal.

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