‘Non-metal tools of tillage farming’ is the theme of this year’s Irish Tillage and Land Use Society (ITLUS) conference.

The winter conference will focus on the challenges faced by the sector – as the list of chemicals available for use reduces.

John O’Loughlin, from Kildare, will give a farmer’s point of view on the topic, with a presentation on ‘The shrinking chemical toolbox’.

Gordon Rennick, of the Pesticide Control and Registration Division in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will present an update on chemical registrations and the regulatory environment of the future.

The solutions to the problem will be discussed in detail. Michael Gaffney, Teagasc, will demonstrate what biological plant protection products are available to farmers.

Former genetically modified organisms (GMO) expert with the EPA, Tom McLoughlin, will show how new breeding tools might impact tillage farming.

Darragh Cleary will describe how he went from being a continuous tillage farmer, to farming as part of a rotation.

Louise McNamara, entomologist with Teagasc, will give an update on the challenge of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) – one of the viruses affected by ‘the shrinking chemical toolbox’.

State of Irish tillage sector

Very appropriately, the conference will start and end with a look at the position of the Irish tillage sector at present.

Gerald Potterton, a farmer from Co. Meath, will give a presentation on ‘The State of the Tillage Industry in Ireland – past, present and future’.

IFA secretary general, Damien McDonald, will deliver the last talk of the day with his organisation’s views and position on the tillage sector.

The conference takes place on Thursday, December 7, in the Clanard Court Hotel, Athy, Co. Kildare. The conference will open at 10:00am with the president’s address. Conference registration will take place beforehand.

More information

Contact [email protected] if you would like to attend. The ITLUS AGM will take place at 4:30pm, following the conference.