‘Energy in Agriculture’ is set to take place tomorrow (Tuesday, August 22) in Gurteen Agricultural College, Ballingarry, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, with discussions kicking off at 10:00am.
Described as Ireland’s largest energy event for the farming community, the information day was first held in 2016 with great success – well over 1,000 farmers and 45 exhibitors attended last year’s event.
The day out, which is free to attend, will feature a series of talks, demonstrations and ‘one-to-one’ energy advice clinics for optimal knowledge transfer.
According to organisers, Energy In Agriculture 2017 will highlight opportunities for farmers in relation to renewable energy and how they can adopt a sustainable approach to their farms and farming methods.
The day will be opened by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten, who will feature in a panel discussion along with representatives from Tipperary Energy Agency, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). The discussion will be facilitated by RTE Radio 1‘s ‘CountryWide’ host, Damien O’Reilly.
The event will feature a series of hour-long practical demonstrations in the areas of wind, anaerobic digestion, solar PV (photovoltaic system), wood mobilisation/biomass, and the role of sustainability in agriculture.
In addition, there will be a host of talks by prominent speakers, with the morning discussions dedicated to improving sustainability and energy efficiency in areas of agriculture including dairy, drystock and tillage, pigs and poultry, and horticulture.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the topics covered will include more specialised themes under the headings of ‘Biomass Supply Chain for Heat and Power’, ‘Anaerobic Digestion’, and ‘Supporting Areas’. The latter theme covers the financial and technical details, as well as the regulations and supports in place, for changing to renewable resources.
The one-to-one clinics will take place from 12:00pm to 4:00pm with “industry experts”, according to organisers. The clinics will provide advice on the topics of energy projects, planning, tax, finance and legal matters.
The IFA Renewables Chairman, James Murphy, encouraged farmers to attend the event.
Murphy noted that the Department of Agriculture Knowledge Transfer approved event will provide new information and ideas about the opportunities and issues that are present in the renewable energy sector to farmers.
Murphy said: “Farmers have made significant strides in improving the sustainability of their agricultural practices and can build on this.
Bioenergy and farm scale renewable projects offer farmers the chance to diversify their farm businesses and have the potential to improve farm efficiency and profitability.
“This event will demonstrate renewables technologies and provide technical and practical advice for farmers,” he added.
For anyone interested, further information is available on the Energy In Agriculture website.