Smart Farming, the IFA led cost savings programme, will work with more than 1,000 farmers across 50 discussion groups, purchasing groups and IFA branches in 2017. Farmers who take part in Smart Farming save an average of €5,000 per year, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their farms by 7 to 10%.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, IFA President Joe Healy said, “It is important that we look at costs inside the farm gate, and the fact that this programme enhances the environment really is a double dividend.”
The programme works directly with farmers to develop cost-saving plans, tailored to their farm, and focussed on eight key areas: soil fertility, energy, grassland, water, feed, inputs & waste, machinery and time management.
The IFA President explained, “Beginning in April, expert advisors will carry out case studies on 50 farms nationwide. The actions, results and learnings from these case studies will not only help the farmers involved to make significant savings, but will also be communicated through Discussion Groups, allowing more than 1,000 farmers to benefit from the Smart Farming expertise and experience.”
Smart Farming participant William Cassidy from Maganey in County Carlow added, “I am taking part in the initiative to find cost savings on my farm and share the ideas with my neighbours. The fact I am also playing my part to improve the environment is great too.”
Smart Farming is led by the IFA and works with the knowledge and expertise of Teagasc, EPA, UCD, SEAI, FTMTA, Fertiliser Association of Ireland, Irish Grassland Association, and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes.