Im­age and em­brace change

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE -

op­por­tu­nity for our farmers.

Our grass-fed sys­tems of pro­duc­tion act as a sink to clean car­bon, and in­creased rain and tem­per­a­tures are an ideal com­bi­na­tion to grow more grass, so it may not be all bad news on the cli­mate change front.

Em­brace the in­for­ma­tion age

We are in the mid­dle of the In­for­ma­tion Age. The con­stant de­vel­op­ments in tech­nol­ogy and data are sim­ply stag­ger­ing. This is fil­ter­ing through the en­tire agri­cul­ture and food in­dus­try, from farmer busi­nesses right through to con­sumer choice.

It is vi­tal all parts of the in­dus­try em­brace and max­imise this change.

Gad­get ma­nia and in­for- ma­tion over­load are gen­uine risks, but the key is iden­ti­fy­ing the im­por­tant data and tech­nol­ogy to help you reach the goals of your busi­ness or part of the in­dus­try.

The dig­i­tal-savvy will out­per­form the dig­i­tal di­nosaurs.

Fu­ture-proof­ing

Re­cent events sug­gest that Brexit is about to hap­pen. There may be a tran­si­tion pe­riod, but if it hap­pens, it will be the sin­gle biggest event to af­fect our in­dus­try since en­ter­ing the EU in 1973.

The Gov­ern­ment and civil ser­vice ap­pear to be pre­pared, hav­ing ad­dressed the what-if sce­nar­ios.

How­ever, this has had lit­tle, if any, in­flu­ence on farmer de­ci­sion mak­ing at ground level; life is con­tin­u­ing as nor­mal.

The beef in­dus­try is par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble and if beef farmers think the present poor price sce­nario is tough, a hard Brexit would change the in­dus­try for ever.

I’m not sure most beef farmers would have the re­silience of pig and tillage farmers to sur­vive such an event.

In farm­ing cir­cles, 2018 will prob­a­bly be re­mem­bered for the sum­mer drought, but lessons to be learned from this chal­leng­ing year could be in­valu­able to fu­ture-proof­ing the en­tire in­dus­try. Ev­ery day is a school day.

THE DIG­I­TAL SAVVY WILL OUT­PER­FORM THE DIG­I­TAL DI­NOSAURS. THE KEY IS TO IDEN­TIFY THE DATA AND TOOLS TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS

Mike Brady is Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor at Brady Group agri­cul­tural con­sul­tants & land agents, email: [email protected]­group.ie.

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