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Mill Farm Organics to go Carbon Neutral by 2030


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The latest twist in the Mill Farm Organics saga. Photos to follow.

July 1st 2017 - Press Release

Mill Farm Organics and associated businesses have announced their intention to go Carbon Neutral by December 2030.

Mill Farm Organics is a group of businesses operating in the organic farming, organic food processing and wholesale/retail sectors. The businesses are owned by a family trust and have their roots in a milling business established by an ancestor in the late 1700s.

Each of the business units in the group has committed to developing a strategic plan to achieve nett carbon neutrality in the period to November 30th 2030.

Company spokesman SPN outlined the challenge faced by the businesses in achieving this task.

"Farming and food processing are energy intensive operations by their nature, and ruminant animals exhale the climate change gas methane (CH4) as they grow. The Mill Farm Organics group comprises tillage farming, dairy farming, horticulture, beef farming, sheep farming and free range pig farming operations at four sites in Ireland and two sites in Poland. Each of these operations have their own unique challenges when it comes to climate change mitigation"

The strategic plan will be developed over the period 2017-2020, with pilot projects to evaluate potential technologies, or implement proven technologies, taking place from 2018.

"There are straightforward improvements that can be made in some areas straight away, many of which are simple housekeeping improvements, whereas solutions in other areas will depend on new technologies being developed by equipment manufacturers, or new techniques being developed by agricultural researchers" said SPN.

Three major improvements are planned for 2018-2019

- Work will begin on a technical evaluation and obtaining planning permission for the construction of four 2.5MW Wind Turbines at Abbeylands Farm

- Farm Scale Anaerobic Digesters will be built at Newpark, Castlebridge and Abbeylands, as well as at partner farms in the region.

- Solar Panels will be installed at the Dairy Unit, Horticulture Unit and Food Processing Campus at Milltown to provide power and heat.

SPN explained the rationale for this. "These are all proven technologies that can be applied today with off the shelf systems. They are also cost effective technologies that provide a good return on capital investment on their own merits, before even considering their role in reducing the carbon footprint of the business".

The move to farm scale anaerobic digesters instead of one centralised AD plant will give a significant reduction in carbon footprint, as well as increasing the value of the product.

"Currently the raw material for the centralised AD plant is hauled to Milltown on a weekly basis, with the digestate being hauled back to the originating farms after processing, for use as fertiliser. This approach has a huge carbon footprint in terms of diesel usage for all the road haulage. The new strategy will be to power the Food Campus from solar panels, both electrical and thermal, and for the methane production from the various AD plants to be used for a higher value purpose on the respective farms".

This higher value purpose will be to power part of the machinery fleet.

New Holland Agriculture has been developing and testing methane powered tractors, and Mill Farm Organics, a long time user of New Holland equipment, plans to be one of the first farming operations to move their fleet to methane power.

"We will have the AD capacity in place to fuel a fleet of farm vehicles on methane by 2020", said SPN "and we have told our New Holland Dealer that we will take two methane powered NH T7.225s, and two methane powered NH T6.180s in January 2020, if they can provide them".

In the meantime, the business is planning to use an older technology to reduce carbon emissions in the machinery fleet at one of its farms. From January 2018 the machinery operations at the 500 acre beef and tillage operation at Abbeylands is going to be powered by rapeseed oil. Three older MB-Trac tractors, three older Fendt tractors and a Mercedes powered Claas Dominator combine will be converted to run on pure rapeseed oil and these machines will be used to perform all operations on the farm. The rapeseed oil will come from non-organic seed grown under contract by local non-organic tillage farmers.

"The Paris Agreement on Climate Change requires Countries to cut their climate change emissions by a minimum of 5% per year, every year to 2050. Agriculture is an area where huge improvements will have to be made if we are to meet the Paris Agreement. Fossil fuel usage, CH4 emissions from animals and NOx emissions from fertiliser are key areas where we need to focus attention, but there is also great scope for agriculture to develop ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil. Mill Farm Organics is determined to be at the forefront of this revolution and to be able to showcase new and proven technologies to the farming community in order to help make the transition to a zero carbon economy happen as quickly as possible" said SPN.

 

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The work patterns of the tractors on the horticulture and dairy units at Milltown House appear to lend themselves to electric power. Consideration was being given to retrofitting a couple of old diesel tractors with electric and electronic gubbins in order to do trials, but Fendt have now released a prototype electric tractor, the e100 Vario which could potentially replace the Fendt 209 and 211 frontline tractors on these units for most of the tasks they perform.

http://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/100-electric-tractor-from-fendt-runs-for-5-continuous-hours/

http://www.fendt.com/int/fendt-e100-vario.html

 

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Horror of horrors.

Milltown Farms continues to evaluate various technologies that may have a place in reducing the faming group's carbon footprint.

Machinery at Abbeylands is already running on Rapeseed Oil and it is hoped that methane and battery powered machinery will be tested at Milltown and Newpark during 2019 and 2020.

But now a terrible visage has appeared in the latest report from the project team.

Could an autonomous green and yellow tractor, powered by an umbilical connection to the grid, have a place in the Milltown fleet?

Heresy I tells ya. Heresy.

 

 

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15 hours ago, SPN said:

Horror of horrors.

Milltown Farms continues to evaluate various technologies that may have a place in reducing the faming group's carbon footprint.

Machinery at Abbeylands is already running on Rapeseed Oil and it is hoped that methane and battery powered machinery will be tested at Milltown and Newpark during 2019 and 2020.

But now a terrible visage has appeared in the latest report from the project team.

Could an autonomous green and yellow tractor, powered by an umbilical connection to the grid, have a place in the Milltown fleet?

Heresy I tells ya. Heresy.

 

 

Probably not Stan, it looks like you may need to adjust the privacy settings for us mortals to view the video

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It looks like the diesel powered T7050, T7.210 and T7.225 will be upgraded to Bio-Methane powered T6.180s in 2020 as originally planned.

What horsepower do those new Strautmann silage wagons need under them?

https://media.cnhindustrial.com/AMEA-English/NEW-HOLLAND-AGRICULTURE/new-holland-unveils-the-world-s-first-production-t6-methane-power-tractor-at-agritechnica-2019/s/b7d87534-63c3-467f-ae47-103724800a56

 

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The first electric machine has arrived at Milltown House. The Weidemann 1160 eHoftrac.

It is intended to replace the existing 1770 Hoftrac for most tasks at the Dairy Unit and to also provide a new range of services in the poly tunnels and greenhouses at the Horticulture Unit. The 1770 will be retained as a backup during the trials.

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New Holland have invested in Monarch Tractor. If we had a couple of these at Milltown House we could all head down the pub.

Who will make me one of these in 1:32?

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/03/02/2185602/0/en/CNH-Industrial-completes-minority-investment-in-Monarch-Tractor.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCXTMxlbskEgOw0V75RRGTg

 

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Oh Deere

Let's hope the good guys can come up with something to match this piece of genius from the Evil Empire

Could Milltown's move to Sustainable Ag mean going over to the dark side for our prime movers?
 

 

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