'Coping with Low Milk Prices in 2016' is the theme for an open day on the Greenfield dairy farm just outside Kilkenny. Gates open for all farmers to visit the demonstration farm on Wednesday, 18 May. 2016 is a difficult year for dairy farmers as the global market for dairy products has dipped over the last 18 months and prices paid to farmers for milk has dropped accordingly.
So what can individual farmers do to offset this price volatility? The Greenfield dairy farm is all about efficient low cost milk production, so first up, there will be an update for dairy farmers on the key outcomes in terms of both physical and financial performance of the farm over the last seven years. This will demonstrate how the farm has coped with the peaks and troughs in milk price over the last seven years, since it was set up on a converted tillage farm.
Secondly the open day will look at the steps that individual farmers might take to cope with the low milk price in 2016. What actions have the managers of the Greenfield taken? On the day you will see how the farm is being managed given this year’s lower milk price. The management of a large dairy farm through the most stressful period of calving and breeding, in terms of labour input, will be a special focus. Strategies to cope with the low milk price will be discussed which will include cash flow budgeting, cost reduction options as well as an increase in efficiency and productivity. You will be able to return home with clear and confident messages on how to reduce the stress of your farm business.
About the Farm
The Greenfield dairy farm is in the 7th year of a 15 year lease. In 2009 Teagasc, in conjunction with the stakeholders Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited (GIIL), Irish Farmers Journal, FBD trust and AIB set up the Greenfield Dairy Farm Programme. The Phelan family, who are the land owners, GIIL and the Irish Farmers Journal are stakeholders in the leased Kilkenny farm, which is looking in detail at the conversion of a 120 hectare tillage farm to a low capital cost 350 cow dairy unit.
The Greenfield farm has served as a demonstration model, run on a fully commercial basis, for all farmers considering a complete conversion to dairying from other enterprises, or for farmers considering expanding their existing dairy business. Valuable lessons have been learned on this farm, which are being shared with all interested in the development of the dairy industry.
Come and participate in the Greenfield Dairy Farm Open Day in Kilkenny on the 18 May.
Weekly notes, updating farmers on what is happening on the farm in terms of breeding, grassland management and other management practices are available at www.greenfielddairy.ie/node/136
Four miles from Kilkenny city on the R712, just before the Gowran exit