The Irish Tillage and Land Use Society’s (ITLUS) winter conference will focus on resilience in people, products and profits for a brighter future in the tillage sector.

The event will kick off with a talk from Teagasc’s Fiona Thorne examining the current economic situation and outlook for Irish tillage farms.

Agricultural meteorologist Klara Finkele will present on past climate, future projections and current services of Met Éireann available to the agricultural and tillage sector.

After a look at finances and the weather, Dr Eddie Murphy, whom readers may know as the psychologist on RTE’s Operation Transformation, will be joined on stage by farmers Harold Kingston and David Kerr. They’ll talk about burnout, stress and tools to cope with the tough times in farming and life.

Gene editing

Before dinner Ewen Mullins of Teagasc will give a talk entitled 'Is gene editing a realistic breeding tool that will impact on Irish tillage systems?'

After dinner, ITLUS will present three awards to student bursary winners in recognition of excellent performance in final-year cereal and crop classes at Teagasc’s Kildalton Agricultural College, South East Technological University and University College Dublin.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tillage farming comes into focus after the short presentation to students.

Karl Richards from Teagasc will focus on the investigation of options to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from tillage soils through the use of a range of existing and emerging technologies.

Biological farming

Andrew Bergin, a tillage farmer from Athy, Co Kildare, will then talk on his experiences in the Danú project on biological farming.

The final speaker before the panel discussion is head of grains at Tirlán John Kealy, who will speak on the different grain offerings the company has for both growers and for the food and drinks industry’s grain customers.

The society will host its AGM after the conference at 4.30pm.

The conference takes place at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy, Co Kildare, on Thursday 7 December. Registration is from 9.15am and the conference gets under way at 10am.

You can book your place at the conference by emailing The fee to members is €50 and includes lunch, tea and coffee. The fee for non-members is €80 and student non-members is €30.