Industry leaders and representatives from major farming organizations will gather at the National Crops Forum 2023 this week to discuss the future of the tillage industry in Ireland. The forum, organized by Teagasc, will include a specific tillage forum on Friday (September 8) in Co. Kildare and online. The aim of the forum is to provide an opportunity for all delegates to discuss the long-term prospects for tillage farming in Ireland and review the work done so far by the Food Vision Tillage Group, which was established to address climate change targets for the crops sector. These targets include expanding the tillage industry’s footprint to 400,000ha by 2030, focusing on high-value crops for the human food chain, and increasing the production of protein crops. The group also advocates for the development of the organic sector and reducing the carbon footprint of the tillage sector as a whole. The final report from the group is expected to address how the tillage sector in Ireland can be maintained and overcome existing roadblocks to expansion.
The forum on Friday will bring together key stakeholders in the Irish crops sector, including the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG), and Teagasc representatives. Stakeholders have been invited to share their ideas and solutions for the tillage sector, and farmer-delegates will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future of the industry.
Two key issues have been prominent in the discussions of the Food Vision Tillage Group thus far: the impact of new nitrate regulations on the arable sector and the government’s ability to support tillage farmers in the future. Any proposals put forward during the forum will be communicated to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) by Teagasc. Industry figures are hopeful that these proposals may be included in the final report to be published by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue. The minister has already received an internal update from the Food Vision Tillage Group, and there is anticipation that he will respond to this update before the National Ploughing Championships later this month.
The National Crops Forum 2023 provides a platform for industry leaders, farming organizations, and stakeholders to come together and shape the future of the tillage industry in Ireland. By addressing climate change targets, exploring opportunities for growth, and discussing support needs, the forum aims to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for tillage farming.