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MARCH 2018
Exciting times ahead for
IT Tralee and agri tech
IT Tralee (ITT), which has been delivering agricultural engineering
courses for the past four decades, is to receive a new 30m science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) facility.
This STEM addition will be constructed in the north campus of ITT,
where the college's agricultural engineering facilities will be to the fore,
according to the college.
Enterprise Ireland has also recently announced funding of up to 5m for
a Global Centre of Excellence in Agri Technology to be located on ITT's
campus. This will be developed in association with ITT and north Kerry-
based dairy equipment manufacturing company, Dairymaster, with the
support of Kerry County Council. When complete, it will position Kerry as
a national leader in agri-tech training, research and development and will
enhance the county's reputation internationally as being at the forefront
of the international agri-tech industry, according to ITT.
Commenting on the award, CEO of Dairymaster, Professor Edmond Harty,
said: "It is a positive development for the sector, nationally, that both
Government and industry have shown commitment to this important
industry, thereby assisting its continued growth and development into the
ITT has been delivering courses in agricultural engineering and
mechanisation for the past 40 years. As the National Centre for
Agricultural Engineering, it delivers a wide range of programmes including:
BSc in Agricultural Mechanisation; BEng in Agricultural Engineering (at
level 7 and 8); and also phases four and six of the agricultural mechanics
apprenticeship for Solas.
Dairy open day in Ballyhaise in April
An open day for the Irish dairy industry will
take place in Teagasc Ballyhaise, Co Cavan,
on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The theme for
the Ballyhaise'18 open day is `Technologies
for Resilient Dairying'. Dairy farmers and
those involved in the dairy industry will
have the opportunity to view and discuss
the latest developments that will help
them to increase the profitability of the
family farm business and cope with future
challenges such as volatile milk prices.
Teagasc says the open day will highlight the
importance of adopting farming systems
that are resilient to external forces, and that
incorporate sufficient tactical flexibility
to overcome unanticipated events. Head
of the Teagasc Animal Production and
Grassland Programme, Dr Pat Dillon, said:
"The abolition of milk quotas has provided
dairy farmers with significant opportunity
for expansion at farm level. The continuing
impressive growth in Irish milk production
is a fantastic example of what can be
achieved within indigenous rural farming
enterprises. Further expansion within the
sector and, in particular within the border
midlands western region, is expected
over the next decade which will deliver
additional jobs on Irish dairy farms. Growth
in the sector also has a high employment
multiplier effect and supports employment
in other parts of the economy and in rural
The Ballyhaise'18 open day is a Department
of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
knowledge transfer event. The open day
runs from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Admission
and parking is free.
Farmers facing significant losses
following Storm Emma
Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president, Joe Healy,
visited farms in the south-east in the aftermath of Storm
Emma, which were particularly badly impacted.
He was joined by IFA south Leinster regional chairman,
Tom Short.
"While the storm itself has moved on, farmers are now
coming to terms with the impact of the weather at farm
level. This storm came at the worst possible time, with
calving and lambing in full swing," Mr Healy said.
"In the south-east and parts of Kildare, the situation is
continuing to be extremely stressful for farmers with huge
amounts of snow still on the ground," he said.
The IFA president said farmers were facing very severe
damage to their farms and farm buildings as well as losses
of stock. In addition, the very poor weather will have a
negative impact on grass growth and put pressure on
already tight fodder supplies.
Mr Healy said farmers were worried in relation to sheep
on mountains and hills.
He said significant difficulties were also arising on
lowland farms where farmers were unable to get ewes and
newborn lambs out because of the conditions.
Many growers in the soft fruit and nursery stock sectors
have also been very badly hit by the heavy snowfall,
which, in cases, has caused tunnels and glass houses to
collapse, destroying plants, Mr Healy added.
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14/02/2018 10:26