Preparing for Sustainable Dairy Growth - An Interview With Dr Anne Marie Butler


With Ulster Bank as associate sponsor of the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Open Day 2019, we caught up with senior agriculture manager Dr Anne-Marie Butler to discuss preparations for the event and dairy industry sentiment.

Make sure to check the Business Achievers Events calendar for more upcoming business events this month.

Are you busy preparing for Teagasc Moorepark ’19?

“Yes we are delighted to partner with Teagasc for Moorepark ’19, the Teagasc national dairy event on Wednesday 3 July. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Growing Sustainably’. With the continued expansion of the Irish dairy industry, producers seek to balance the requirements for profitability with climate smart dairy farming. Moorepark ’19 is an ideal opportunity to see first-hand the most recent scientific and technological updates in addition to meeting with like-minded individuals seeking to progress their dairy farm business.”

Irish dairy farming continues to expand. How important is Teagasc Moorepark ’19 for producers?

“Yes the Irish dairy industry has increased milk output by 60% since 2015, with the value of exports continuing to grow. For this to happen, significant investment has occurred at both farm and milk-processing level. For the farmers, we continue to see on-farm expansion, development and a keen focus on science as farmers seek to manage their farms in the midst of ever-changing external influences.

Moorepark ’19 offers a wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience the science, understand the most recent developments at farm level and discuss with Teagasc staff how best to apply these technologies on their home farm.”

Recommended reading: Agri-Food Series: Pastures New with Daniel Cronin of Oysterhaven Dairy Farm

Tell us a little more about Ulster Bank’s presence at the event

“Ulster Bank is delighted to sponsor the Dairy Farm Infrastructure Handbook, which will be officially launched on the day. Ulster Bank is proud to be the key partner for the Infrastructure Handbook. It highlights the key grazing and milking technologies all dairy farmers require to best position themselves for future growth, efficiency and profitability. The Infrastructure Workbook aims to allow individual farmers to assess their own farm infrastructure, identify deficits and successfully plan for improvements. Many of the identified needs will need to be prioritised based on timescales, cost, stage of business development and availability of farm finance.

“At Ulster Bank, our agri managers are available to discuss these development plans with you. We recognise the critical importance of good dairy farm infrastructure. The guiding principal is that it’s safe, produces quality milk from healthy animals using management practices that are sustainable from an animal welfare, labour efficient and economic and environmental perspective.”

How is 2019 going for dairy farmers?

“Thankfully 2019 has been kinder weather-wise following the significant summer drought of 2018. Autumn/winter 2018 brought mild weather, which allowed dairy farmers to save silage, complete grazing rotations and reduce the need for bought feed. This certainly allowed producers to face into 2019 with renewed optimism, full silage pits and good conditioned herds. We are continuing to see an increase in the number of ‘new dairy’ entrants requiring finance. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Significant research should be completed, budgets prepared and on-farm dairy experience gained.

“At Ulster Bank, our agri managers are available to discuss these valuable investments with dairy farmers. Ulster Bank wants to help farmers make sustainable decisions and grow their business while simultaneously recognising the inherent challenges from weather, disease and economics. We believe all farmers need to continue to develop a broad range of skills. As one new entrant commented to me recently ‘its not about being ready for milking twice a day, it’s milking 14 times a week’.”

Any final words for visitors to the open day?

“This wonderfully organised Teagasc event will provide dairy farm families with an updated roadmap to support profitable dairy production systems while addressing the challenges faced over the next 10 years. We look forward to meeting all in Moorepark (P61 C996). Call by the Ulster Bank stand for a chat on the day or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC. A private company limited by shares, trading as Ulster Bank, Ulster Bank Group, Banc Uladh, Lombard and Ulster Bank Invoice Finance. Registered in Republic of Ireland. Registered No.25766. Registered Office: Ulster Bank Group Centre, George’s Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VR98. Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.



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