Here’s the machine that kept a college fed…ahead of Grass & Muck

The much-talked-about FTMTA (Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association) Grass & Muck event is close at hand (May 17).

Also Read: Site map: Get the inside track here…on Grass & Muck 2018

The recent improving conditions have brought about welcome grass growth at Gurteen College – the venue for next week’s show.

The FTMTA has been working with member firm Zero Grazer – to ensure the presence of a (demonstrator) zero-grazing machine at the college to aid with preparations.

Gurteen College runs the largest agricultural training site in the country; the farmed area amounts to almost 1,000ac.

A college spokesperson explained: “Even on an operation of that size, the allocation of the large area required to host Grass & Muck – which this year encompasses in excess of 100ac in the demonstration and exhibition areas alone – is not without challenges.

The dairy herd at Gurteen has grown substantially in recent years; the college was pleased to have the use of the ‘Zero Grazer’ to meet our fodder requirements – using grass from land that is not practical to graze directly.

“This facility was especially welcome this year, due to the difficulties experienced nationwide in relation to fodder.”

Ken Flynn (Gurteen College farm manager) pictured on-site recently with Niall O’Reilly (Zero Grazer)

Zero Grazer claims to have pioneered the concept of zero-grazing here in Ireland; the Co. Meath based firm has carved out a niche for itself as a specialist in grassland management.

The company recently became a member of the FTMTA; next week will be the first time that it will show its wares at Grass & Muck.

If you’re planning on going, it’s worth noting that the Gurteen College site (close to the Tipperary/Offaly border) is accessed from the N52 between Birr and Nenagh.

Local Gardai have advised that a no-parking zone on access roads will be strictly enforced – with a tow-away policy on the day.

National access to the site will primarily be from the Nenagh and Birr directions; ample free parking will apparently be provided in an adjacent area.

Meanwhile, on-site preparations are ongoing this week – as is evident from the picture below (taken yesterday evening).

FTMTA Grass & Muck
Raking up grass at the end of a rainbow on the site of next week’s ‘Grass & Muck’ event (at Gurteen College). This picture was taken yesterday (Wednesday) evening