To some, anaerobic digestion (AD) and dairy farming may seem like opposing sectors, but, in fact, they share many synergies.
While the AD sector is still in its infancy, the dairy sector has evolved into an agricultural powerhouse in rural Ireland.
However, the dairy industry is confronted with significant challenges that are poised to reshape its model in the coming years.
The question arises: can AD offer solutions to some of the emerging challenges in dairy farming?
For example, one of the key components required for AD is slurry, a resource that dairy farms produce abundantly.
For some dairy farmers, AD will hold the key to addressing new nitrate limits by helping to manage slurry more effectively.
Nevertheless, as the AD sector continues to grow, it will demand approximately 2.7% of Ireland's farmable land, leading some in the dairy sector to view it as competition.
As a result, instances have occurred where dairy farmers have publicly opposed local AD projects and attempted to rally local support against projects.
Yet, it's worth considering whether dairy farmers might be missing out on potential benefits and opportunities offered by AD if the right policies and strategies are developed.
This important discussion will be the focus of a talk at this year's Irish Farmers Journal Dairy Day event in Cork, which aims to shed light on the potential common ground between AD and the dairy farming sector.
Dairy Day 2023 is taking place this Thursday 23 November in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Co Cork. The talk on AD and dairy farming is set to kick off at 10am and run until 11am.
The talk will feature Teagasc AD specialist Maurice Deasy, Limerick AD operator David McDonnell and IFJ dairy specialist Declan Collins, who will take the stage and participate in a panel discussion.
If you have ever been curious about AD, then this is a talk not to be missed.
For more information on Thursday’s event, including how to register to attend, follow this link.