Dublin, February 15 (Reuters) Irish small-scale farming has seen a renaissance in recent years, with farmers turning to a new crop-growing technology known as a hybrid system to produce more yield than a conventional crop.
However, growing the variety is costly and takes time, and the new technology is not ready to go into production yet.
In an interview with the Irish Times, farmer Jim Murphy of Wainoughan in County Meath said that the new system had been a great help to his business.
He said the hybrid system was used to produce about 70 percent of his crops.
“We’ve got about 200 hectares of land, so I’m doing about 30 percent of our total land,” he said.
“It’s been a bit of a shock because we’ve been growing a lot of it but it’s not going to make it in to the crop.”
Mr Murphy said he would have liked to grow more than 200 hectares, but the hybrid method has made the job easier.
“In terms of cost, it’s pretty cheap,” he told the Irish Examiner.
“But we’ve got a hybrid and it’s got to be at least three times as tall, so it’s a good option.”
Mr Murphy said the new technique would not be commercially viable for years to come, and was only being used to generate revenue in Ireland.
But he said he was confident the new hybrid technology could help in the future.
“They’ve got something very good,” he added.
“A lot of things are going to be very different in the next three to five years.
But we’ve had some success with this.”
What we’re doing is a little bit different than conventional agriculture because we’re not going into the fields and we’re only growing one crop.
“I’d like to see this as the future of farming.”
Mr Coyle from the Dublin Institute of Technology said that with the new farming technology, the traditional system was now outdated.
“The hybrid system is not going anywhere and you can see that the numbers are starting to come back,” he explained.
“So the whole point of hybrid farming is to save time and labour and you want to do it in the most efficient way possible.”
This is very much the future and I think it’s something that the country has to look at very carefully and decide whether it’s going to survive or not.