ICSA to launch its own tillage committee

The future viability of the Irish tillage sector in Ireland should also worry livestock farmers, the President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), Patrick Kent, believes.

The government, in conjunction with the tillage sector, must prioritise devising a strategy to make a viable future for tillage farming in Ireland, according to Kent.

The key elements of such a strategy should include: more use of native ingredients in livestock rations; a re-examination of the case for sugar beet; support for energy crops across Europe; and closer links between livestock farmers and tillage farmers, he added.

Cheap grain is no good for anybody, as it leads to downward pressure on meat prices.

“We also need sufficient tillage farmers to provide adequate amounts of straw for the livestock sector.

“The ICSA also believes that a much tougher line will have to be taken in relation to the malting sector,” Kent said.

On the second day of the National Ploughing Championships, the ICSA will officially launch a tillage committee.

The event, which takes the form of a panel discussion followed by a question and answer session, will commence at 2:30pm at the ICSA stand (Block 2, Row 13, Stand 294).

Panellists for the occasion are set to include: Darragh Cleary, 2016 ‘Tillage Farmer of the Year’; David Shortall from Quinn’s of Baltinglass; and tillage farmer Seamus Duggan.

Is veganism a threat to farming?

Yesterday, while speaking to AgriLand’s Claire McCormack during a ‘live stream’ of the National Ploughing Championships, Kent gave his views on whether veganism poses a threat to Irish farming.

He described veganism as “controlled malnutrition” during a panel discussion between some senior officials from some of Ireland’s various farm organisations.

For clarity, a vegan is defined as a person who does not eat or use animal products.

I think we have a massive opportunity to address some of these issues. Veganism now is very, very financed and it is kind of a cult movement.

“I think it needs to be tackled for what it is; it’s controlled malnutrition. People are eating less nutrient-dense foods than ever before,” Kent said.