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Innovation on Irish Farms

06 August 2008

IRELAND - Dairy and tillage farmers are the most innovative groups of Irish farmers.

Data on farmer innovation was gathered as part of the National Farm Survey carried out by the Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre last Autumn.

A sample of 1,052 farmers was questioned about the type of innovation they were engaged in.

The initial results from Teagasc researcher Kevin Heanue shows that dairy and tillage farmers are the most innovative. The most frequent type of innovative activity relates to organisational and process issues.

The next stage of the research will develop a more comprehensive profile of those farmers who are innovating and those who are not.

Factors that influence farmers' attitudes to innovation include the farmer’s age, farm size, whether or not they are clients of Teagasc, whether the farmer is full-time or part-time, the education level of the farmer and the interaction of the farmer with discussion groups and monitor farms, for example.

Moorepark Cheese Innovation

Meanwhile, ongoing cheese research at the Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre has greatly benefited the Irish dairy industry and huge potential for the industry to develop its cheese output still lies ahead.

One of the most exciting recent developments was the filing by Moorepark of a patent for a novel cheese-making technology without a whey drainage step. The article in the latest edition of TResearch features details of this new technology.

Tom Beresford and Tim Guinee from Moorepark explain the development of the cheese research programme since 2000.

The public funding made available to support cheese research has enabled continued development of a cheese programme that responds to industrial needs, while laying foundations in science and technology that will assist the future expansion and development of the industry.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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