Top 10 things to see at the National Ploughing Championships

From mealworms to roasted locusts and tractor football – the delight is in the detail

  1.  Lely’s robotic milking machines are a thing of wonder. A herd of 40 cows are being milked on site, untouched by human hand.
  2.  Sheep shearing: A perennial favourite, the sheep shearing competition is always good fun.
  3. Rentokil has a novel approach to attracting visitors to its stall. Its Pestaurant offers diners a choice of mealworms, crickets and roasted locusts.
  4. Bus Éireann: Has the impressionist Oliver Callan (and all those people he takes off) on site.
  5. Tractor football: A new one for the championships this year. Teams of tractors push a giant football around a muddy field.
  6. The ploughing: Sometimes the ploughing seems to be about everything except the activity, but the competitions draw a big crowd.
  7. Sheep dog trials: Once upon a time the whole British nation was in thrall to One Man and his Dog. See it live here.
  8.  RTÉ tent: There is no surprises as to who is the most popular broadcaster in the country. You can meet Marty Morrissey (or his cardboard cut out).
  9. Electric Ireland tent: Various Olympians have been on site. The O’Donovan brothers will be pulling like a dog here on Thursday
  10. Enterprise Ireland: Showcases the latest in farming innovation such as a sheep spa, a revolutionary bailer or an animal incubator.