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Building a resilient, flourishing, internationally competitive dairy industry in Ireland

Report completed for the 2025 Agri Food Strategy Committee – Ireland, 2015

By Con Hurley & Mike Murphy

This superlative report is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the key principles for building an internationally competitive pasture-based dairy industry. It outlines what is required to develop highly profitable ‘GrassRich’ dairy businesses, and how to avoid the pitfall of developing ‘GrassPoor’ dairy businesses. The report highlights why it would be so important for the Irish dairy industry to nurture and retain the low cost of production systems strongly evident in countries like Ireland & New Zealand, and avoid the pitfalls that have beset the dairy industries in Northern Ireland and Victoria (Australia).

The report was written as part of the planning by Ireland to accelerate the growth of their dairy industry once EU milk quotas were removed, while making sure this was done on a sustainable, profitable basis through optimising pasture harvest and maximising the percentage of pasture in the cows diet.

The two authors are both recognised nationally and internationally as ‘giants’ (if not ‘legends)’ in the dairy industry.

Con Hurley worked as dairy editor of the Irish Farmers Journal before moving on to a career in life coaching, providing courses in life planning and writing (two books published). He is currently writing The Business of Life, Money and Dairy Farming. He is a co-founder and director of the Positive Farmers Conference.

Mike Murphy is a partner in a commercial dairy farm in Ireland and is a director of substantial dairy farming businesses in New Zealand and the USA. For the past 45 years, he has been a strong practitioner and proponent of grass-based milk production and, on an unpaid basis, has taken 10 dairy study tours to New Zealand in the past 15 years. He is a co-founder and director of the Positive Farmers Conference.

To download the full report please click here.

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