When we look at 2018 it was a year of contrasts in the agricultural sector – and that’s just the weather! From the extremes of Storm Ophelia and fodder shortages of the spring, we slipped in to the month of May fearing a poor summer would put farmers on their knees. What a welcome surprise we got initially, with pleasant weather and a general uplift in the mood of the farming sector.
Soon however, the drought took hold, soil moisture deficits become the buzz words and grass shortages were widespread. Thankfully, we got some bounce back in the autumn with better than normal grass growth in September and October and an extended grazing season. This has shortened somewhat the winter housing period and fears of potential fodder shortages are not as severe as originally forecast.
Planning for feeding and management of your ewe flock pre-lambing remains a top priority and on Wednesday, January 9th a KT Sheep National Event is planned in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon for 7.30 pm.
Mike Shields, Nutritionist with RED Mills Ltd. will speak on the importance of a balanced ration in the pregnant ewe’s diet and the key ingredients that should be included.
Following on from this, Damien Costello, Sheep Specialist with Teagasc, will focus on growing spring grass for the lactating ewe and ensuring the ewe is getting her daily requirements to maintain milk flow to her lambs.
Frank Hynes, Career and Job Consultant, will also be speaking on finding meaningful work both on and off the farm.
Finally, Kepak Group will make a presentation on market outlook for 2019 and a live demo showing where in the world the various lamb cuts are sent. It’s surprising that the constituent parts of any lamb can end up in 20 different countries worldwide.
Again, the night is open to all to attend and if you are in a KT Sheep Group, sign in starts from 7.15 pm.
Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. They have offices based in Roscommon town (090-6626166), Longford town (043-3341021) and Castlerea (094-9620160). You can find us on Facebook @Teagascroscommonlongford.
*Brian Daly is the Teagasc Drystock Advisor based in Roscommon town