By Kenneth Johnston
CAFRE TDF Programme Manager
TECHNOLOGY Demonstration Farms
(TDFs) provide a network of local farms which allow other farmers the opportunity to see new technology and innovations which they could adopt on their own farms.
Over the past year the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) organised a series of more than 170 TDF training events at TDFs right across Northern Ireland in the Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Crops, Environmental and Pig sectors with excellent feedback and CAFRE is continuing to take bookings for future visits to all of its TDF farms.
Three new Dairy TDFs have recently been appointed under the theme Feed Efficiency, bringing the total number of TDFs appointed to 42.
One of the new Dairy TDF farmers is Kevin McGrade from County Tyrone, who along with his family milks just over 250 cows on heavy land close to Dromore with a target yield of 7,000 litres (4.8 per cent BF and 3.70 per cent P) on 1.8 tonne of concentrates. Cows are turned out to grass when conditions allow from February 1 each year and calving begins on September 1.
Kevin said: “I have always been keen to try and maximise output from grass and forage and we have made great strides in this over the past few years while at the same time increasing cow numbers substantially. I always enjoy discussion with other farmers and I am really looking forward to welcoming groups of farmers on to our farm.”
Details of all the TDFs and how to book a visit are available on the CAFRE website www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/technology-demonstration-farms/
CAFRE is taking group bookings by email only at the moment at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union are funding the establishment of this network of Technology Demonstration Farms across
Northern Ireland as part of the Rural Development Programme under the Innovation Technology Evaluation Demo-
nstration (ITED) Scheme.
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