‘Smart Farms’ Save an Average of €5,000 Per Year

A ‘smarter’ way of doing business, being piloted on a range of mixed farms, has highlighted savings of up to €15,700 a year that farmers can make by simply paying more attention to routine tasks and purchases.

The Smart Farming Programme, being promoted by the IFA’s national environment and rural development committee, was first piloted in 2013 on six Wexford farms with various enterprises.

Last year it was extended to 30 farms strategically located across the country, from Donegal to Cork, Wexford to Meath, and this year it is planned to extend the scheme to hundreds of farms.

This initiative focuses on ways to reduce costs inside the farm gate through better resource management in eight key areas: feed, grassland, water, inputs, time management, soil fertility, machinery management and energy use.

Among the programme’s key participants are Teagasc, the Fertilizer Association of Ireland, the EPA, and UCD.

The IFA’s Tom Ryan said that average savings of €5,000 per farm were achieved in 2013 through initiatives being applied to feed, fertiliser, energy and waste on the farms.

“There were savings of €15,779 on one out of the 30 farms that participated last year, but that was exceptional.

“The average was closer to €7,120 per farm by doing the simple things better in areas where the farmers were not aware that economies were possible,” said Mr Ryan.

Across the 30 farms the savings ranged from €260 to €15,779.

One farmer found that improving soil pH reduced nitrogen usage by 9t at a saving of €2,600.

Additional water troughs on a dairy farm increased milk production by 10pc, which was worth €4,400. Adjusting an automatic meal feeder saved €3,300. Reducing the lamb fattening period by three days increased margin by €4,400.

Key areas for achieving savings included more efficient use of plate milk coolers, changing energy supplier, checking water flow rates and availability, working with a purchasing group, and using the right machine for the job.

Committee chairman, Harold Kingston said that over the past decade spend on inputs had increased by over 50pc from €3.2bn to €4.9bn

“This represents over 70pc of the farm-gate value of output produced.Therefore the focus on resource efficiency and the better use of inputs through the Smart Farming Programme makes good economic sense.

“Every 1pc reduction in inputs use will lead to a saving of €49m to the sector,” he said.

Independant Farming


This week we have a very useful and potentially life-saving infographic on the 8 leading Causes of Farm Deaths to share with you fromhttps://www.dhfarmmachinery.com/

Death on the farm is not a popular topic but it is prevalent among farms all around the world.

It doesn’t matter what type of farmer you are weather dairy or livestock e.t.c., the risks are there and will remain there until they strike.

It also doesn’t matter what age you are either, children are more inclined to be involved in accidents but adults are more than capable of making simple mistakes.

The following infographic looks at ways in which the most common farm deaths/accidents arise and how they can be avoided.


Assistant Herdsperson Wanted, West Cork.

Assistant Herdsperson, West Cork.

The successful candidate will be able to perform all the normal tasks associated with running a modern herd.

He/ she must be able to milk and to demonstrate an ability to look after the health of the herd.

Also he/she will be able to look after youngstock and be able to drive and operate machinery such as diet feeders, tractors, fertilizer spreaders and slurry equipment.

A good knowledge of grassland management would be an advantage.

If you are interested in this opportunity please e mail your CV quoting “Ref 381” to info@farmsolutions.ie or phone Ciaran on 053-9239315.

“We are not in the business of supporting inefficient dairy farms”- Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney

ICOS-TeagascDairy farmers thinking of expanding need to be efficient first, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney told the Teagasc/ICOS dairy conference ‘The End of the Beginning’.

“We need efficient farms before we get larger. We are not in the business of supporting inefficient farms.

“Farmers get that and I hope the banks get it too.”

He also said that the ‘story’ of dairy expansion has the potential to offer a very positive offering for Ireland and must be monitored weekly and monthly.

“This is bigger than simply agriculture. The three biggest investments that Enterprise Ireland has ever made have been in agriculture in the last few years. Dairy within the food industry, has huge promise.”

Milker/Assistant Herdsperson  – East Cork

farm logo facebook2A Milker/Assistant Herdsperson is sought for a large dairy herd in East Cork.

A keen all-rounder is required who is capable of quickly getting up to speed with the day to day operations of this farm.

Most of the work will revolve around the milking herd and will typically involve milking, parlour duties, wash down, feeding calves, bedding calves and cows.

Relevant experience is essential. Willingness to work hard and the ability to integrate into the existing family farm team is also crucial to a successful application.

Excellent milking skills and a real affinity with cows are essential.

If you are interested in this position send  your C.V. to info@farmsolutions.ie or call us on 053-9236222