Macra Agricultural Skillnet is launching two new technology-focussed courses this December for those interested in farm automation and tillage GPS guidance systems.

The first course will be a one-day introduction to farm automation. It aims to cover a range of topics and will be facilitated by the experienced team in Lely Mullingar.

It will take place on-farm in Co. Offaly to give attendees hands-on practical experience and aims to be a taster course for those interested in the industry.

Everyone and anyone with an interest in the sector is encouraged to join in on the day.


The global agri-tech industry is anticipated to reach €42 billion in value by 2027.

Ireland is becoming a leading adopter, with 32% of farmers currently using technology to increase efficiency and 21% to reduce labour according to the 2022 IFAC Irish Farm Report.

Robotic milking has grown massively over the last 10 years with over 2000 robots installed on the island of Ireland. Most of these systems are working on grazing farms.

The expectation is that growth will continue at an even faster rate with the lack of availability of skilled farm labour as the main driver. The prediction is that 50% of all new milking systems sold by 2025 will be robotic in the Irish market.

The huge growth in the use of automation and sensor technology has created great opportunities in the areas of service and maintenance.

This one-day Macra Skillnet course will give participants, young and old, great insight into what is involved working within this sector. Details will be provided on what training courses are available, how to actually find a suitable role and what are the career progression opportunities.

Those just with a general interest in ag-tech are also very welcome to attend. They will learn what systems work best on Irish farms and where how to keep these systems in great working order.

Lunch and a certificate of attendance will be provided to all those who attend on the day. The course will cost €40 for the day.

The day will touch on the following topics:

  • Introduction to Farm Automation and Sensor technology;
  • Robotic milking systems – basic principles;
  • Automated milking process;
  • Sensors and systems used;
  • Basic robot maintenance;
  • Common repairs;
  • Heat detection and health-monitoring collars – basic principles;
  • Robotic yard scrapers – basic principles;
  • Service and maintenance guidelines;
  • Automatic calf feeding;
  • Basic principles;
  • Service and maintenance.

Also to come in December is a one-day short course focusing on GPS technology for tillage farmers.

Keep an eye on the Macra Agricultural Skillnet website for more information.