Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Teagasc Annual Report 2018: Discussion

Dr. Frank O'Mara:

Dr. Kelly might want to comment on the advisory side. Work has commenced on training our advisers, advisers outside Teagasc and other professionals in industry. There is considerable work on some of the measures, in particular the fertiliser type, the slurry application method and, as always, general good husbandry. I always say the first thing farmers should do is run the business well and try to make maximum use of grass and so on. All those things contribute a low-carbon footprint. If we want to go further and reduce the inventory, we need to do things like using the protected urea and spreading the slurry with a low-emissions method and so on.

Our programmes will have a major emphasis on that in the coming years. We are planning - it might be under way - what we call a signpost farm programme around a number of demonstration farms. We have discussed with the co-ops having a major focus on the climate measures in the joint programmes we have with them. We have had similar discussions with the beef industry on having a demonstration farm campaign. It needs to go considerably beyond demonstration farms.