Technologies for Tillage Farms
The profitability challenge facing Irish tillage farmers was at the centre of all the discussions and demonstrations at the Crops and Cultivation 2017 Open Day which is taking place today, Wednesday, 28 June at the Teagasc Crops Science Research Centre at Oak Park in Carlow.
Head of the Teagasc Crops Research programme, John Spink said: “Profitable tillage production in Ireland is dependent on high yields. The effective control of weeds, pests and diseases are critical to achieving this. However in all cases, development of resistance to crop protection products, in combination with reduced availability of products as a result of changes in legislation, is making control ever more difficult.”
The head of Teagasc Crops Research stressed the importance of growers using all available methods such as; sowing date, seed rate and variety choice, in an integrated approach to weed, pest and disease control. “A critical element to sustainable crop production is the use of rotations, and a large body of work to develop agronomic approaches for the production of alternative crops including; oats, beans and oilseed rape is being demonstrated.”
Mr Spink continued; “We urgently need better varieties. There is a significant effort going into developing them as part of a large Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine funded centre, the Virtual Irish Centre for Crop Improvement (VICCI). This is also being demonstrated here in Oak Park today.”
A major cultivation demonstration and machinery exhibit has been organised in association with the Irish Farmers Journal. Different crop establishment methods are being demonstrated and the different types of machinery available are exhibited by the machinery suppliers.
Teagasc Crops and Mechanisation researcher, Dermot Forristal said: “Soil cultivation and crop establishment are critical components of crop production impacting on costs, crop performance and sustainability. While many non-plough systems are now offered, these must be carefully assessed for our climate, where mild and wetter conditions can cause particular challenges. The correct choice of system and machine for specific farm situations is crucial, as is the matching management package to optimise performance and minimise threats such as grass weed proliferation.”
“Today at Crops and Cultivation 2017, Teagasc research findings on crop establishment is merged with a working demonstration of machines and crop establishment systems to stimulate consideration and debate on this important production element”, according to Dermot Forristal.
Crops and Cultivation 2017 also incorporates a major exhibition on farm safety, reminding farmers and their families of the risks on tillage farms and the best practices to be adopted to avoid injuries and fatalities.
The Open Day is running from 11am until 6pm and all are welcome to attend.