Research that is changing the face of farming and rural life will be showcased by the Irish Research Council at the National Ploughing Championships this month. Topics ranging from new technologies for cattle breeding to novel fertilizer 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 19th to 21st September – the Council released details of the researchers who will contribute to the event.

These include:

  • Michael Reilly from Leitrim, based at University College Dublin and whose research focuses on agricultural memory and archives. At present, he is developing a case study of Teagasc.
  • Edel Murphy from Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry, who is based at University of Limerick. Edel is collaborating with The National Cattle Breeding Centre to research new technologies for the cattle-breeding industry.
  • Aileen Carter, a researcher at UCD who lives in the heart of ‘racing country’ in Co. Kildare. Aileen, whose research is conducted in partnership with Equilume Ltd. 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 and from Templeogue in Dublin will present her research on the bioactive and nutritional profiles of Irish honey and how human activity is impacting on honey production.
  • Michael Kiely, from Patrickswell, Co.Limerick, based at Waterford IT and working in partnership with The Irish Turf Club. His research focuses on the physiological demands on jockeys during horse racing. As part of this research, he is also developing a standardised physical fitness assessment protocol for the horseracing 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, who will present his research on how the meat processor influenced farm policy and politics from 1965 to 1985. Declan is a native of Kildimo, Co. Limerick, and now lives in Mayo. He is well known in farming circles, having worked in agricultural media for over 20 years, including as editor of the Farming Independent from 2008 to 2015.

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.”

Source: Irish Research Council