Slashing energy costs by up to 40pc is 'realistic' target
Savings of €8,700 can be made on average farm
Cutting energy costs by 40pc on farms is "absolutely realistic" by following some simple steps and using readily available products, according to a Teagasc researcher.
John Upton, a researcher at Teagasc Moorepark, said the benefits were really evident in cases where a dairy farm is being set up on a 'greenfield' site.
"If the farm is set up with energy efficiency in mind at the beginning, it doesn't cost anything extra to do it.
"Those savings are cumulative every year thereafter and with the supports that are available through TAMS and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland grants, there is really no excuse not to do it," he told the IFA Smart Farming seminar in Portlaoise.
Dr Upton warned electricity-related CO2 emissions from the dairy sector may hit 182,000 tonnes, with predictions the sector would produce 8.8 billion litres by 2020 unless strategies are put in place to tackle this.
Thomas Ryan, the IFA Smart Farming programme manager, said there was opportunities for farmers to save €5,000 in costs by tackling areas such as energy usage, soil fertility, water usage, grassland production and machinery usage.
He pointed out €8,700 in savings had been identified on average on the 38 farms taking part in their programme.