When the Ploughing was cancelled last year, we consoled ourselves that we would get back together in 2021 and appreciate the occasion all the more having missed it for a year.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is still with us and it is not “ploughing as usual” with an attendance of 300,000 people and all of the associated trade events that surround the event. Thankfully, the core element, which is the ploughing itself, will take place as explained in detail here and the plough men and women will be centre stage.

The interview with Anna Marie McHugh also reveals the plans for a return to what has become the more normal ploughing event in 2022 by which point we will have found a way to live with and manage COVID-19.

Returning to the streamlined event that is this year’s Ploughing, the Irish Farmers Journal plans to bring you comprehensive daily coverage of the ploughing competitions that are taking place on Thursday and Friday.

We have also produced this special publication – Plough On – to mark the occasion and reflect on how the policy changes that are happening in Ireland and the EU will impact on farmers and custodians of the land for the remainder of this decade and beyond.

To achieve this, we have sought comprehensive contributions from our specialists in the Irish Farmers Journal and beyond and it is clear that we are in a decade of change for agriculture across the island of Ireland.

Farmers will, as they always have, embrace and adapt to change just as the National Ploughing Association has had to do with this year’s Ploughing event.

We wish them well for 2021 and look forward to 2022 when the Ploughing is accompanied by the return of trade stands and mass audiences showcasing the best of rural Ireland.