‘THE day was a major success,’ declared Drinagh trading manager Martin O’Mahony, ‘We had record numbers and there was a great buzz around all day with a huge amount of information available.’
He was commnting after the annual Drinagh Agri Workshop took place on December 6th at the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, with hundreds of farmers attending throughout the day. This annual workshop is unique among events on the farming calendar as it gives people an opportunity to obtain professional and expert advice on a one-to-one basis in the one setting.
A now permanent feature to the workshop, herd health, was as popular as ever. Both Doreen Corridan of the Munster Cattle Breeding Group and veterinary consultant Martin Kavanagh were on hand to address all areas from calf rearing to winter dosing programmes
The effects of Storm Ophelia, when farmers suffered days without electricity, were obviously still on their minds at the workshop where the generators trade stand attracted huge attention. This stand was busy from once the doors opened with farmers seeking advice and information.
The general advice was that each farm has different requirements when deciding on the size of generator required.
Consultation with an electrician is essential when making a decision and generator maintenance is critical to ensure it is ready to use when needed.
Drinagh was looking out for their customers’ wellbeing too, with pharmacists on hand to complete health screening. Pharmacists Michael McCarthy and Eamon Hayes carried out blood pressure testing, pulse rates, diabetes screening and body mass indicators.
The hot topic of winter feeding was addressed by Donal Murphy, nutritionist with Score Drinagh Feeds, and Morgan Sheehy of Devenish Nutrition. Winter feeding options and diets were discussed to help address any potential forage deficits the farmers may be dealing with.
The new portable silage scanner that provides on-farm silage analysis also attracted a lot of attention. Donal stated the ‘farmers can only begin to formulate a plan once they know the quantity and quality of the silage that they have in the yard. Farmers are also eager to discuss cow body condition and ways of correcting body condition score over the dry period.’
This year’s Drinagh Agri Workshop event proved to be the largest to date with over 25 different stands, including veterinary products, dairy hygiene, financial institutions, Teagasc and many more.