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Top award for Cork tillage farmer

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Cork tillage farmer Ted O’Leary has won the award for the best project in the University College Dublin (UCD) diploma course in integrated pest management.

 Ted, who runs a 400ha (1,000ac) tillage enterprise with his father Dermot at Castleview, Conna, Co Cork, is the first farmer to win the award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

The prize is an all-expenses paid trip to the intensive course on disease management in wheat and barley run by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), held in Cambridge, UK.

Large-scale grain enterprise
The O’Leary tillage enterprise consists of 160ha of owned land, 100ha on long-term lease and 140ha farmed on contract. Three-quarters of the total area is devoted to winter barley, with the balance in winter wheat, winter oats and spring barley. All the grain is dried on the farm. The O’Learys are also involved in the sale of fertilisers and chemicals.

Intensive UCD training course
The diploma course in pesticide management is co-ordinated by Prof Tom McCabe of the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. It involves 15 days of instruction and practical training at UCD and Teagasc Oak Park. Each participant is also required to complete a project. Under the EU Pesticides Directive, completion of the course is mandatory for all new pesticide advisers.  Ted O’Leary described the course as “hugely beneficial to his business as a tillage farmer”. William Corrigan, Dow AgroSciences’ national business manager for Ireland, said the company’s sponsorship of the top project award is part of its mission to ensure that its crop protection products are used in the most sustainable way, thereby delivering maximum benefit for tillage growers and society as a whole.