The Alltech Euro Tour 2018 kicks off Monday, November 26th, with a team of farmers set to tackle four countries over a five-day period.
There will be a group of 130 farmers in total taking part, from 13 different countries, taking in trips to two dairy farms per day in Ireland, France, Belgium and Italy. Attendees will have a chance to meet each individual host farmer, learning about the systems in place on their farm and their own personal experiences working within the industry.
Attendees will also get to witness some of the culture and scenery on offer in each country, in what promises to be an information-packed, cultural, fun journey.
The Tour Itinerary -
As mentioned, the tour kicks off on Monday November 26th, and will run up until Friday November 30th.
Monday: On day one, attendees will visit Bologna in Italy, where they will be welcomed before visiting a dairy farm near Bologna in the afternoon. This will be followed by some sight-seeing and dinner in the city.
Tuesday: The following day will see the group visit another dairy farm in the region in the morning time, followed by lunch before the team then jet off to Vatry in France. They will then undertake a guided tour and tasting at a wine cellar, followed by an evening meal in Reims.
Wednesday: The group will take in trips to two dairy farms on day three of the tour, in the Saint Dizier region of France. They will then head off to Sedan in France, where they will have an evening meal and visit the medieval fortress in Sedan itself.
Thursday: Day four sees the group take in trips to another two dairy farms, though this time in South Belgium. They will then fly back to Dublin that evening where they will visit the Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin.
Friday: The final leg of the tour has the 130 farmers visiting the Alltech European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne. This will be followed by Lunch, before a closing reception to finish off the tour.
The Farms -
Italy: The farm near Modena in Italy, in the heart of the Parmiggiano-Reggiano region.
This farm is milking a herd of 1,100 Montbeliarde X Swedish Red cows with an average milk production of 9,500 per cow per lactation. The farm is also using the latest technologies for herd improved performance. This includes a photoperiod system for improved pregnancy rates, and an indoor ventilation system based on the temperature humidity index (THI) measurement. This ensures maximum cow comfort during hot periods.
France (a): The first farm in France is located in the Brie De Meaux area in eastern France.
This farm is currently milking 230 dairy cows, with an average milk yield of 10,000L/cow/lactation and a production capability of 2.3 million litres of milk per annum. The farm is set on 485ha of farmland. Here the tour team will learn of the specific regulations that apply to farming in the Brie De Meaux area, where urea is not allowed in the diet, the use of local fodder beet is strongly advised, animals must have at least 4kg of dry matter (DM) in their diet and 85% of their diet must consist of local feed.
France (b): This family farm is located in Ceffonds in the east of France.
The family milk 80 dairy cows and also keep 30 Charolais Sucklers. There is also a small fattening unit on the farm. The milking herd has an average milk production of 9,500L/cow/lactation and a production capability of 780,000L per annum. The farm is set on 250ha of land, consisting of 180ha of market crops.
Belgium (a): The first Belgian farm is located in Franchimont.
This farm is currently milking 145 Dairy cows with an average milk production of 11,680L/cow/lactation. They also have a calving interval of 378 days. Attendees of the tour will learn of the focus on producing top quality forages and also information on the herd’s genetics.
Belgium (b): The second farm in Belgium is located in Mohiville.
The farm is milking 330 dairy cows with an average production level of 9,600 litres per cow per lactation. Total area farmed is 150ha, of which 80ha is owned land, with the remainder rented.
Ireland: The final leg of the journey is a trip to an Irish dairy farm, which is located in Co. Meath.
The farm is split into three and all together is milking 890 Holstein Friesian crossbred cows. Milk production is averaging almost 7,000 litres and milk solids are at 530kg per cow per lactation, with 3.63% protein and 4.1% fat. The herd is based on seasonal calving with 70% calving in Springtime and 30% in Autumn.
Upset that you couldn’t attend this year’s tour? Don’t worry as the team from Alltech are taking over the That’sFarming Snapchat account for each day of the tour. You can tune in at - thatsfarming.
Check out the highlights below from last year’s tour - Courtesy of Alltech.