The Irish Tillage and Land Use Society (ITLUS) is celebrating 50 years in 2019 and over those years the tillage industry has faced many challenges. The society prides itself on challenging its members and keeping ahead of the game.

This year’s conference will challenge members to listen to views that they may not necessarily want to hear,  but need to be aware of.

On the first day – of the two day event – the attendance will hear from Cara Augustenberg, someone with strong views on agriculture and climate change, who has also spoken out on numerous occasions about glyphosate and why she does not support its use in conventional agriculture.

Current president, Michael Phelan spoke to AgriLand ahead of the conference and stated that the organisation needs to listen to people who are commenting on their industry.

As a group of people we’re very willing to learn, but we’re only willing to learn on fair comment and fair facts.

“Scientists have to be responsible in their commentary,” Michael added and stated that its good to meet them first hand and share different views.

He noted that it is important to be aware of these different views and achieve a fair balance. Like any other ITLUS conference he said there will be time for discussion and conversation.

One of the unique things about ITLUS is how it brings people from all areas of the tillage sector together.

“ITLUS strands from the scientists, to the researchers, to agri-business, to farmers. It’s an all inclusive body and it works for the good of all.

It brings those people into a room together where their daytime hats are left outside. The angles are left out. It’s a meeting of minds for the better of the sector.

Details of the conference

The theme of this year’s conference is “Visions for the Future” and it will extend to two days.

The conference will take place at the Clanard Court Hotel, Athy, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5.

Day 1

The conference will begin on Wednesday, December 4, at 3:45pm, with registration from 3:00pm.

Presentations on day 1:
  • Colm McCarthy, University College Dublin (UCD) – Is rural Ireland in decline?
  • Cara Augustenberg, UCD – An environment worth fighting for;
  • Gerry Boyle, Teagasc – The tillage sector in Irish agriculture.

The group’s AGM will take place at 6:00pm on Wednesday, December 4 and a dinner will follow at 7:30pm.

Day 2

On day two registration is available from 9:30am and proceedings will start at 10:00am.

Presentations on day 2:
  • Summary of ITLUS at 50;
  • Keynote address from Bill Callanan of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – Tillage in Ireland as we head towards 2050;
  • Ed Flatman, Limagrain and Louise Brinkworth, Corteva Agriscience – Evolving technologies for crop production;
  • Ewan McFarlane, Origin Enterprises – How data and digital agriculture is changing tillage farming;
  • Darragh Mullin, New Holland – Future trends in mechanisation from a manufacturer’s point of view;
  • Kevin McDonnell, UCD – The Future Direction of Irish tillage mechanisation.

If you would like to attend the conference, you can email: [email protected] and state if you will attend on Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening and/or Thursday.