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Day one of National Ploughing Championships underway

All roads lead to Ratheniska in County Laois today for the start of the National Ploughing Championships.

Running over the next three days, an estimated 300,000 people are expected to attend Europe's largest outdoor festival.

This year Ireland also plays host to the 67th World Ploughing Contest with competitors from 28 countries taking part.

At this year's competition, there will be numerous green initiatives with sustainability being a key theme.

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The National Ploughing Association will be promoting the use of recyclable products, food waste will be converted into energy through an anaerobic digester, and there will also be solar panelled lighting towers, cardboard compactors, litter fines and waste separation operations on-site.

Certa, formally known as EMO Oil, are providing the electricity for the event using HVO Hydrated Vegetable Oil (recycled cooking oil).

WLR Farmview's Kieran O'Connor is at the event and he says this year is set to be bigger and better than ever.

"I've never seen a site looking so well before the opening day," he said.

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The Ploughing Championships is being officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins tomorrow evening at 5. It is a delayed opening as he was attending the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

There will be agricultural and plant machinery on display featuring a range of agricultural technology and equipment.

There will be an opportunity to see these in action in the machinery demonstration area.

A livestock display will also be on offer. Here people can learn about livestock management, genetics, nutrition, and healthcare.

People are being advised to ditch their Google Maps as there is a traffic plan in place.

Visitors coming from Waterford will be following the grey route.

They can make their way to Kilkenny, then out the Castlecomer Road. There will be signs with directions in place.

For all of your Waterford news and sport, click here.Β 

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