Latest agricultural research to be on show at Ploughing

Research that is “changing the face of farming and rural life” will be showcased by the Irish Research Council at the National Ploughing Championships in two weeks’ time.

Topics ranging from new technologies for cattle breeding to novel fertiliser formulations will be highlighted at the council’s stand throughout the championships.

In advance of the event – which takes place in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly from September 19 to 21 – the council released details earlier today of what to expect at their stand.

The information released includes details of the researchers in attendance, and what projects they are working on. These include a wide range of agri-focused topics, as listed below.

Michael Reilly, who is based at University College Dublin (UCD), is working on research focusing on agricultural memory and archives. At present, he is developing a case study of Teagasc.

Edel Murphy, who is based at the University of Limerick (UL), is collaborating with The National Cattle Breeding Centre to research new technologies for the cattle-breeding industry.

Aileen Carter, a researcher at UCD, is conducting studies in partnership with Equilume Ltd – which will demonstrate how a “smart lighting” system that mimics sunlight can improve the growth and exercise capacity of maturing thoroughbred horses in training.

Dominika Krol, based at Trinity College Dublin, is working in collaboration with Teagasc to explore how new fertiliser formulations can impact on yield and nitrous oxide, and meet agricultural and environmental targets.

Saorla Kavanagh, based at Dublin City University (DCU) will present her findings on the bioactive and nutritional profiles of Irish honey and how human activity is impacting on honey production.

Michael Kiely is based at Waterford IT and he is working in partnership with The Irish Turf Club. His research focuses on the physiological demands on jockeys during horse racing.

As part of this study, he is also developing a standardised physical fitness assessment protocol for the horse-racing industry. He will be bringing a simulator to the National Ploughing Championships to demonstrate the outcomes of his research.

Declan O’Brien, a researcher at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, will present his research on how the meat processor influenced farm policy and politics from 1965 to 1985. O’Brien is well-known in farming circles, having worked in agricultural media for over 20 years.

Announcing details of the Irish Research Council’s programme for the Ploughing Championships today, Peter Brown, Interim Director of the Council, said: “The Irish Research Council aims to fund the very best research talent to ensure a broad range of expertise to meet the challenges in Ireland’s future.

“Each year, the researchers we fund include a significant cohort who are working on projects that will enhance the agri-food and equine industries and increase our knowledge and understanding of best practice in rural Ireland.

We are delighted to be able to showcase some of this work at this year’s Ploughing Championships, and to engage with agri-food companies, large and small, interested in research.

Further information about the Irish Research Council is available on the council’s Facebook page.