contractor, FTMTA Grass & Muck is Ireland's
national grassland technology event. It will feature
working demonstrations on silage making, loaders
on pit, dung spreading, slurry spreading and re-
seeding, along with an enlarged trade village with
all major Irish and international manufacturers
represented. As Ireland's core farming activities
are dairy and beef, grass and slurry management
is a critical aspect of Irish farming. The exhibition
will demonstrate the latest developments from
manufacturers helping farmers and contractors to
work as e ciently and e ectively as possible.
Agriculture, like most industries, is influenced by
many external factors outside of our control, such
as the weather and Brexit negotiations. Agriculture
is, and will remain, the most resilient industry in the
world, quite simply because there will always be
a food requirement. We must focus on the issues
we can find solutions for through innovation.
The manufacturers of agricultural machines
are constantly innovating, incorporating new
improvements into their products to work better
and faster. These innovations are varied in terms of
mechanical and hydraulic transmissions integrated
into electronic controls and sensors linking to
software platforms to provide more and more
information to the end user.
Good farmers and contractors know that accurate
information is essential for an e ective critical
analysis within their business. Each small step adds
to the overall performance and, by committing to
continuous improvement, they learn from their
mistakes and set themselves new challenges to
improve their top line, cost inputs and bottom line.
If we keep repeating the same thing, based upon
"that is always how we did it," without analysing its
Against the background of the fodder shortage,
weather di culties and the continued expansion
of herds in Ireland, it's very important that we
use the right equipment to get the best return
on our grass growth during the coming years.
Higher precision process control and precision
farming are integral parts of controlling inputs and
increasing yields across all areas of farming.
The more technologically advanced the tractors
and machines become, the more advanced the
standard of support available to end users needs
to be. There is 100 per cent commitment from
the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association
(FTMTA) to work with the members of the trade
to raise those standards across all aspects of the
business. One of the key developments for the
association over the past couple of years has been
the establishment of the Bachelor of Science
(Agricultural Mechanisation), in IT Tralee. The FTMTA
will continue to work closely with IT Tralee in the
development of this degree programme.
This is a mainstream third-level course with a high
standard required of the students coming into
it, and we are confident that it will produce the
calibre of agricultural technicians needed in our
industry. This training route is endorsed by the
FTMTA for new service people entering our sector.
For any budding farm machinery technicians, this
course will be of real interest, o ering a blend of
college-based and workplace learning to equip
graduates with the skillset required for a key role
in the Irish farm machinery industry. This course
will deliver personnel who are able to maintain and
service the type of modern machinery on view at
Gurteen Agricultural College during FTMTA Grass
& Muck 2018. Please contact the FTMTA o ce if
you would like more details.
Agricultural machinery manufacturing is one of
the few indigenously owned, export-orientated
sectors within the Irish economy, and is one that
we should all be proud of. Our industry is one of
constant development and innovation, and FTMTA
strives to be an association that can support our
members and their customers in that progress.