Following on from the 2011 event focussing on the concept of Ecologically Intensive Agriculture (EIA), SPACE and the elected representatives of the Brittany Chambers of Agriculture decided on a theme for the 2012 Research & Development Platform which invited farmers to continue reflecting on the future of their farms.
Thinking about the changes in the pipeline and adapting production systems in line with the EAI concept now form part of the objectives farmers must take into account if they are considering renewing their buildings in the short or medium term, building new ones or changing materials. The aim of the Platform is to offer concrete solutions for the choices of the future, incorporating economic considerations (improving stock performance with a minimum of inputs, organising the farm to improve working conditions and animal welfare, quality and health and safety) and environmental constraints (cutting energy consumption, integrating the farm into its environment...).
This theme will be covered across the next two Shows: in 2012 focussing specifically on the needs of cattle farmers and in 2013 on pig and poultry producers.
With 300 m² available, the Platform will be presenting three separate display and activity areas to enable a better understanding of this need to THINK AHEAD:
The Innov'Actions area
This area will display a range of materials to stimulate discussion and reflection on the automation of repetitive tasks and farmer well-being, for milking, feed distribution and animal handling. This area will also highlight the technological possibilities offered by information management systems: animal identification and tracking, monitoring work...
In the Future Vision area
Visitors are invited to step back and imagine how their farms might change over the next 20-30 years. A set of models will be used to show within a defined space the different elements that need to be taken into account to facilitate the adaptation of a farm over time, the need for a modular element in farm buildings.
It is this area which will tackle the issue of saving and producing energy (from pre-coolers to photovoltaic panels and biogas plants). Decisions about these new energy resources need to be made strategically and with advance planning, to ensure they integrate successfully into the farm.
As part of this global approach to the holding, advisers from the Chambers will assist with planning development costs, specisfically "given the situation of limited labour availability, if I want to clear some time, how can I prioritise" with examples on slurry scraping, feed, strawing down.
The thinking ahead area "Anticipa"
At the centre of the Platform, will be staging an exhibition of the award-winning projects from the "My building of the future for the cattle farm" competition, organised by the Brittany Chambers of Agriculture, SPACE and TERRA magazine. Open to all (farmers, farmers' associations, technicians, designers of agricultural buildings, agricultural students), competitors were asked to produce a drawing or a model showing a cattle farm of the future (dairy or beef), its building(s) and their surroundings. The project must also comply with the requirements of Ecologically Intensive Agriculture (EAI). Prize money of €5,000 on offer, to be shared between the best four projects selected by a panel of experts.
At the heart of SPACE, the 2012 Platform will be, as every year, first and foremost a place of information and discussion on the chosen theme. First-hand accounts from farmers who have already begun working on these issues and from technical advisers, from the Chambers of Agriculture will explain how all farmers can THINK AHEAD by asking themselves the right questions.
A special edition of TERRA will be published on 7 September 2012 on this theme showing the right questions to consider when planning a building and with major illustrated sections on the modular approach, energy-saving, buildings, automating tasks (milking, feed distribution, animal handling), and computerised data systems form more effective herd management.
Partners of the 2012 Research and Development Platform - Hall 4
- Brittany Chambers of Agriculture
- GIE Lait-Viande - Comité Régional Bâtiment (Dairy-Beef Group - Regional Buildings Committee)
- Institut de l'Elevage (Livestock Institute)
- Bretagne Conseil Elevage (BCEL)
- GDS de Bretagne (Animal health services)
- FRGEDA (Regional Federation of Agriculture Study and Development Groups)
- Coop de France Ouest
Feedback on the 2011 edition
An innovative approach: Ecologically Intensive Agriculture (EAI)
| Farmers who have already integrated this new approach and advisers from the Chambers of Agriculturexplainedhow farmers can adopt EIA for their arable and livestock enterprises. No matter which sector they are working in (dairy, pigs, poultry, etc.) the type of system they use (conventional, organic, etc.) EIA is a progressive and innovative approach applicable not only at parcel or whole farm level, but also at regional level.