Carlow farmer backs GM and technology investment
The best presentation of the conference undoubtedly came from Carlow-based tillage farmer Kevin Nolan, who owns 240ac and farms up to 800ac, some on a shared farm system.
Kevin is a progressive tillage farmer who appears to be embracing technology on all fronts. He believes in the use of modern machinery to improve farm output.
He uses auto-guidance applications on his tractors and combine to improve yields and eliminate excessive costly farm inputs. And he has even harnessed the power of Facebook to his benefit.
A strong believer in the benefits that GM crops can offer, Kevin told the conference that his stint abroad as a Nuffield scholar opened his eyes as to how far behind the curve Ireland are on this particular matter.
However, Kevin believes this year's Teagasc trials on GM potatoes for blight resistance was a massive development and could pave the way for trials on oil seed rape and wheat.
To those against GM on an environmental basis, he posed the question: "Would you prefer to spray the crop up to 15 times a year for blight or not have to spray it at all? "Which is better for the environment?"
Machinery dealers at the conference were glad to hear Kevin express cautious optimism on the future of grain farming.
His most recent machinery acquisition is a new 30m sprayer.