As readers of these posts will know we are all about #smartrural. We are always on the lookout for ideas and methods or in fact anything that will help to have a positive impact on the lives of the people living in rural communities.
We were pleased to visit the Teagasc open day in Oakpark in County Carlow to see what the researchers are up to and to see how it may impact on rural lives in the future.
It was a wonderful day supported by wonderful interested and engaged farmers.
So just a list of bullet points we feel will impact in the future
- Farmers are using less chemical fertiliser
- Farmers are using less pesticides
- Farmers continue to raise yields with less inputs giving hope that the world of 10 billion can be fed.
- Techniques to develop natural predators of pests are ongoing and showing some promise
- Plants and methods that reduce weeds in a natural way are being discovered and researched for farm implementation.
- Machines continue to get more expensive, more complicated and more precise
- Regulations continue to increase
- Irish tillage farmers are still far ahead of most other EU farmers in terms of yield
- Plant breeders are doing very exciting work using new non GMO techniques
- Bees are starting to make a return as they are treated for the mite that was weakening them and as they build resistance
- new chemicals will come to market
- efficacy of some older chemicals is less than 30%
- Forestry as sitka is not popular but many farmers would love to widen their natural hedgerows if there was a sequestration credit available.
- Soil Organic Matter and increasing it is of great interest to tillage farmers
- Min till, no till, cover crops are all seen as interesting and will spread as the skills needed and the benefits realisation is clear.
- Precision farming is getting better and cheaper with every iteration and will become standard practice.
- Building healthy and productive soils is very high on farmers priorities.
- Farmers are rising to the challenge of producing more food in the next 40 years than they produced in the last 8000 years.