Smart Farming, the resource efficiency programme, run by the Irish Farmers’ Association in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, hosted its spring seminar online on Tuesday, 28th April 2020. The programme collates existing knowledge and expertise from Ireland’s leading academic and advisory bodies, state agencies and technical institutions. It communicates this knowledge in a targeted way, to deliver on the double dividend of improving farm returns and enhancing the rural environment through better resource management.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Minister Richard Bruton said “Looking forward to the future, one of the most important elements that we need to embed is the idea of sustainability. The Smart Farming initiative is recognising that farming is at the heart of sustainability and we need to continually learn of new ways of making our enterprises more resilient for the long term.”

Laura Burke, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency, called on farmers and agri-business leaders across the country to participate in Smart Farming to ensure the long term environmental and economic sustainability of Ireland’s agricultural sector.

Donagh Berry, Director of VistaMilk SFI Centre & Teagasc Quantative provided a presentation on ‘Breeding for profitable and socially responsible animals’. The most desirable traits and animal welfare were highlighted as well as how methane emissions are measured from livestock.

Stan Lalor, Group Head of Sustainability Business Grassland AGRO provided key points on how smart fertiliser planning will lead to profitability.

Tommy Boland, Professor of Ruminant Nutrition & Sheep Production UCD looked at emerging technologies to reduce methane emissions from agriculture.

Dan Clavin, Organic Farming and Rural Development Specialist Teagasc highlighted how good clover management on farms can lead to reduced costs.

Other key points and addresses were provided from Tim Cullinan, President of the IFA, the Smart Farming Programme Leader and IFA Environment Chair Paul O’Brien and past Smart Farming Participant Owen Brodie.

More information on Smart Farming here. Presentations from the day can be viewed here.

Source: NRN

Image Source: IFA

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