Tillage

Tillage farming in Ireland mainly involves the growing of large areas of cereal monocrops such as wheat, barley and oats. 

Over 300,000 hectares of land in Ireland is used for tillage farming.  The yield potential of Irish tillage land is among the highest in the world.  However, Ireland is a net importer of cereal grains.

Potatoes:

Potatoes are grown all over Ireland, in a wide range of soil types, and continue to be a significant part of the Irish diet.   We currently import more potatoes and potato products than we export, so there is significant scope for development in the home-grown market.

Beans, Peas & Oilseed Rape:

These are good cover or break crops during rotations.

Organic Tillage:

Organic tillage provides opportunities for farmers, as this article outlines.  There is an increasing demand for organic grains (for example, oats) for human consumption, as people become more health conscious and the market for vegan products grows.

No-Till Farming:

No-till or zero-till farming is a technique of growing crops without disturbing the soil.  It increases the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil, and the soil’s retention of organic matter and its nutrient cycling are improved.  In some regions soil erosion is reduced, and the amount and variety of life in the soil is increased.  Labour, fuel, irrigation and machinery costs may be reduced.  No-till can increase yield due to higher water infiltration and storage capacity, and less erosion. 

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