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 160 TDF training events at TDFs right across Northern Ireland in the Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Crop, Environmental and Pig sectors with excellent feedback and CAFRE is continuing to take bookings for future visits to all of its TDF farms.
One of the most popular Dairy TDFs is Philip Kyle’s at Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone who was appointed under the theme Feed Efficiency. The Kyle family farm comprises 90 milking cows in an all-year-round calving system. In 2014 the decision was taken to reduce cow numbers and focus on maximising milk from forage. As a result, meal fed per cow has reduced, annual milk production per cow has increased, as well as total litres sold and profitability.
Philip says: “I am passionate about farming and am always trying to improve the business with the main focus on being able to maximise of use of one the main resources on the farm ie grass . I also enjoy welcoming groups of farmers on to our farm such as a recent group from the North West. This gives me the opportunity to explain what we are doing on the farm and to promote discussion on many different aspects of our farming practices including grassland management. I am looking forward to having many other groups visit us in the days ahead.”
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is 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 Demonstration (ITED) Scheme.
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