Innovation is key buzzword at National Ploughing Championships 2015
Technological developments in agriculture take centre stage at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.
It’s the highlight of the Irish farming calendar, a bit like Christmas and your birthday rolled into one; we can only be talking about the National Ploughing Championships.
Running from September 22-24, the Farmflo team have joined 200,000 other farming folk from not only from Ireland, but from all across Europe and beyond, in Ratheniska, County Laois. (If you’re down here, make sure you come and say ‘Hi!’. Our tent is located at Stand No 275, Block 3, Row 17, and we are also exhibiting in the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena, too.)
A big focus on agritech this year
While the next few days’ events look set to include vintage trailer and horse ploughing, loy digging, sheep dog trials and lamb sheering competitions, it’s actually agricultural technology that is taking centre stage at this year’s National Ploughing Championships. And the key buzzword over the last few days has been ‘innovation’.
With global food production set to increase by 50% over the next 15 years to meet the demands of the planet’s growing population, farmers are going to be expected to produce more with less. We have to find new ways to make our farms more productive and more efficient. And, with the European Union’s milk quotas being abolished earlier this year, Ireland could be poised to become a global powerhouse for dairy and beef exports.
But not only that, according to Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, there is also a massive international demand for Irish bloodstocks and AI exports, with technology playing a key role in each. From an ever increasing array of home-grown drones, to cloud farm management software such as Farmflo, and grassland management system GrassHopper, to Keenan System‘s new feeding wagons and Intel’s new computers-on-a-board, Ireland seems to be on the cutting edge of agritech.
This is not something lost on the powers that be; Enterprise Ireland have invested a significant amount of time, money and effort in showcasing the best of what Ireland has to offer in their Innovation Arena, while Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defense, Simon Coveney TD, was hosting a large delegation from China. Even the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was on site bright and early before venturing on to Brussels.
It’s not all work, work, work
The National Ploughing Championships aren’t all about work, however. There’s plenty to see and do, and the Farmflo team have also been out seeing the sights. Here’s our Head of Finance, Nicola, and our Customer Experience Executive Lisha checking out their new yock…
As you can see, Nicola was quite excited by the 0% finance option…