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Teagasc Pig Farmers Conference in Thurles

Clonakilty, Agri Student, Miss Nadia Ross

The 2011 Teagasc National Pig Conferences took place on Wednesday, 19th October at the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles, County Tipperary.

The conference, locally directed by Thurles born Ciaran Carroll, (Teagasc Moorpark) provided a great opportunity for all pig farmers to meet fellow producers and to get the latest advice and research results from the Teagasc Pig Development Department.

Attendees at the event learned that the pig sector in general had been through a difficult year since last year’s conference, due mainly to high feed prices which impacted on the profitability of Irish pig production. The issue of feed ingredient, both supply and price prospects, was addressed in detail at Wednesday’s conference.

Latest updates emanating from the Teagasc pig research programme at Moorepark were presented by Teagasc staff reporting on their recent research, while also addressing the costs of pig manure treatment, together with an update on the GM Safe Food project, which is researching the use of GM feed in pig diet.

The Conference provided guidance on the key ingredients of good loose dry sow housing systems and provided a presentation on what is the optimum sow culling strategy  and the economics of earlier culling. The “Two Tonne Sow,” first coined at the Teagasc 2009 conference was again revisited.

Presentations from representatives of two of Ireland’s main banks, on the financing of pig production, were particularly relevant to attendees at this conference, taking into account the existing and current pig producing climate.

Closing this conference, Teagasc Director, Prof. Gerry Boyle, presented certificates to attendees of the first ever FETAC level 6 Pig Course, which was run at the Teagasc centres of Moorepark, Clonakilty and Ballyhaise.

But it was Clonakilty agricultural student and attractive conference attendee, Miss Nadia Ross (Pic above), who possibly carried the sentiments of us all, clearly printed on her huddie jacket.

Picture courtesy G.Willoughby, Thurles.

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