Farming & Fisheries

TEAGASC: Future farming practices and new technology on display at open day

August 28th, 2022 11:40 AM

At the launch of the Carbon Flux tower in Johnstown Castle were, from left: Bridget Lynch, agricultural catchments programme; Prof Frank OMara, director of Teagasc; Liam Herlihy, chair, Teagasc; Prof Karl Richards, Johnstown Castle; Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Dr Dominika Kroll, senior researcher, Johnstown Castle. These flux towers are installed as part of the Teagasc SignPost programme around Ireland to monitor carbon in the soil. A tower has been installed in the Timoleague catchment and a further tower is planned for the Shinagh farm in Bandon. Technologies will be part of the open day displays in August.

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A MAJOR Teagasc open day will take place on Tuesday August 30th at the Teagasc Environment Research Centre at Johnstown Castle in Wexford.  

The open day will demonstrate technologies and practices that can be adopted on farms to help maintain farm productivity and profitability, while increasing overall environmental sustainability. 

Those who attend will be informed of the latest practices and tools researched and tested to help farmers improve their farming business and to support them in meeting the environmental challenges faced by the sector. 

Practical management of the liquid milk herd and the calf-to-beef herd at the Research Centre will be outlined and displayed during the open day. 

Announcing details of the open day, Dr Karl Richards, head of the Teagasc environment, soils and land use department said that farming is facing challenges to maintain and improve its sustainability in terms of reducing emissions, improving water quality, maintaining soil health and improving biodiversity. ‘The current Teagasc research to address these issues will be highlighted at this major open day,’ he said.

Dr David Wall, enterprise leader at Teagasc Johnstown Castle added that there is an exciting suite of technologies ready and available for implementation today by farmers, while the technologies for tomorrow are in the research pipeline. 

He urged all farmers to attend the  open day to see what steps they can take now to improve their businesses and to inform themselves of what technologies could emerge for the future.

Among the exhibits on display will be grass clover and multispecies swards with new information for successful management of grass clover and multi-species swards.

Farmers can also get the latest information on fertiliser and slurry technologies for increasing nutrient efficiency and grass growth, reducing gaseous emissions, enhancing carbon sequestration and soil health.

Practices to enhance on-farm biodiversity, including hedgerow management, will be demonstrated. Find out what your hedges are doing for climate change by storing carbon. Practical steps will be shown to reduce losses of valuable nutrients from the soil and the agricultural sustainability support and advisory programme (ASSAP) advisors will be on hand to discuss practical methods to protect water quality on your farm.

Dairy cow nutrition for winter milk production will be discussed, as well as lessons learned from the Green Acres and DairyBeef500 programmes. Benchmarks for measuring the efficiency, and the economic and environmental performance, of dairy and dairy-beef production systems, will be presented. 

Farmers can also learn about the Signpost programme, a multi-annual campaign to lead climate action by all Irish farmers. 

The programme aims to achieve early progress in reducing gaseous emissions from Irish agriculture, and also improve water quality, maintain and improve biodiversity, reduce costs and create more profitable and sustainable farming enterprises.  

It is a collaborative programme, led by Teagasc, and includes over 100 Signpost farmers, all relevant industry partners, and State bodies. Farmers should take the opportunity to get practical advice from the signpost advisors and farmers, said Dr Wall.

Teagasc advisory services will be on hand to discuss how the new agri-environmental scheme, organic farming scheme, or forestry scheme may fit into support your farm business.

The next generation of farmers can also find out what education and training opportunities are on offer. 

Machinery demonstrations will also take place. There’ll be a chance to see the latest relevant machinery to aid farmers reduce their reliance on artificial nitrogen fertiliser. Teagasc will lead demonstrations of the latest low emission slurry spreading equipment, methods and machinery for over-sowing clover into existing grass swards and the steps to calibrate fertiliser spreaders to apply accurately protected urea and other products.

Visit the Teagasc Environment Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford on Tuesday, 30th August to see the Technologies to help ‘Farm for a Better Future’.

See more information at teagasc.ie/futurefarming

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