There is just two weeks to go to the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly.
Speaking at the event's launch this Wednesday Minister Michael Creed highlighted a number of important issues facing farmers, as well as praising the organisation team behind the event.
He said that it was “no small feat or undertaking” to organise an event of the size, commending the quality of the work and preparation done to facilitate an attendance of over 290,000. He added this year the social aspect of the ploughing was more important than ever given the tough year farmers have endured.
Minister Creed praised the farming community for their collaborative approach to the current fodder shortage and said efforts were continuing to ensure an adequate supply of fodder.
“The Ploughing is always an important part of the social calendar for the farming community and I think never more so than this year. The farming community need a break and need to down tools, to get away from it all for a day or two and meet old friends,” he said.
Creed also spoke about Brexit and ongoing CAP budget negotiations. He said it was clear the next CAP would have a much greener hue and that farmers should be rewarded for their role as guardians of the land.
The Minister added that there were economic as well as social benefits to this as trade partners in high value markets were increasingly demanding sustainably-produced food in addition to quality, safety and traceability.
Also speaking at the event, Anna May McHugh congratulated the Irish ploughing team on their success at the World Ploughing Championships in Germany.
“We at the NPA will always foster the art of good ploughing. And we showed that last weekend in Germany when out of 53 competitors we were first and second on the platform that night.”