Introducing The National Ploughing
Every year, the heart of Ireland's rural community beats a little louder as people from across the country gather for the much-anticipated National Ploughing Championships. This celebration of all things agriculture and rural life is a testament to Ireland's rich heritage and the dedication of those who manage the land. In this blog, we'll take you on a journey through the highlights of the 2023 National Ploughing Championships, detailing the vibrant atmosphere, innovative machinery and the deep sense of rural life that make this event a must-visit for any agricultural enthusiast.
The Venue: The Stubbles of Ratheniska
The National Ploughing Championships is not just an event; it's an inclusive experience for all members of the community. Set against the scenic tillage backdrop in Co. Laois, the venue itself was a vast area of over 300 acres, sitting in stubble fields awaiting the 200,000 visitors. The sight of visitors and exhibitors bustling against this scenic backdrop was a sight to behold. It's like a city that pops up in the middle of nowhere, and it's a testament to the event's popularity and organizing committee. This year, conditions were tough with wind and rain playing a huge role over the three-day Championships. It proved that wellingtons, waterproofs and umbrellas were essential to keeping somewhat dry.
The Machinery Showcase: Modern Day Innovation
One of the highlights of the Ploughing Championships was the jaw-dropping display of cutting-edge machinery and equipment. Walking through the machinery section was like stepping into the future of agriculture, with the latest innovations from leading manufacturers being showcased. It was an opportunity to discover the latest technologies on offer to the industry, including variable rate fertiliser applications and robotic livestock equipment
Competitions: The Art of Ploughing
At the heart of the Ploughing Championships are the fiercely competitive ploughing contests. These skilled ploughmen and women put their expertise and skills to the test, operating equipment to deliver the perfect furrow. There were competitors from all corners of Ireland, showcasing their ploughing skills across many categories, from traditional horse drawn ploughs to conventional reversible equipment.
Man & Beast: A Talk with Gerry Dolan
During our walk around the many endless stalls, we caught up with a familiar face to Inishowen Co-Op customers, Gerry Dolan from Man & Beast. Gerry talked us through one of their mineral drenches suitable for this time of year, which improves fertility and thrive in sheep. Man & Beast also offer a wide range of products for cattle and sheep as we approach the winter housing period.
To conclude, this year’s Ploughing Championships offered visitors a future vision for agriculture and rural life, whilst also comparing our heritage and traditions of working the land. Sustainability and Innovation were among the highlights for visitors, with a wide display of both equipment and environmental interventions, being implemented on Irish Farms. For Oran and John, this was a fantastic opportunity to discover new products and services which can be taken back to Inishowen, while also giving fresh ideas for our own regional shows ahead of 2024.