The Greenfield demonstration farm at Clara, Kilkenny which is closing down
Glanbia Ireland has issued a statement saying it respects the decision of the Phelan family to pull out of the Greenfield demonstration farm at Clara on the Dublin Road, located close to the turn off for Gowran. It is also ending its involvement.
This follows the decision of the highly respected Phelan family to take back control of the facility and the land which was run as a three-way partner between Glanbia, the Phelans and the trust that runs The Farmer's Journal.
Glanbia Ireland said its board believed that the Greenfield Farm project had successfully generated the data required to meet the original objectives.
Glanbia Ireland Chairman Martin Keane said: "The project has generated a large volume of data for knowledge transfer and was a huge resource, particularly for new entrants to milk production. This information will remain available through Teagasc.
"Glanbia Ireland fully respects the decision of the Phelan family to return to day-to-day farming on that land.
"Glanbia Ireland remain committed advocates of the grass based milk production system promoted by Teagasc as the optimum milk production system for the vast majority of Irish dairy farmers.
"We are currently close to finalising agreement with Teagasc on the next phase of our joint Farm Development programme – replacing the recently concluded 2015-2018 Monitor Farm Programme," he said.
The farm was initially set up in 2009 and commenced milking the following year. Set up in the knowledge that the quota regime that had stymied both dairy expansion and new entrants to the sector would end in 2015, the farm was developed "to demonstrate best practice in the design, construction and operation of a low-cost, grass-based milk production system to Irish dairy farmers".
A dairy herd of 330 cows was established on 120ha, with the project envisaged to last until 2025.