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AUGUST 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Research Innovation Focus
Research Innovation
AUGUST 2019
Research Innovation Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
careful attention to the timing of application and choice of
fungicide. The loss of chlorothalonil from March 2020 will
necessitate new thinking for Septoria control in wheat and
Ramularia in barley Folpet will be a useful alterative!
Areas of relevance to tillage farmers and the farming
industry in general included:
Grass weed problems Michael Hennessy Head of crops
Knowledge Transfer project on grass weed control has
identified a key solution to Sterile Brome control use
Timothy or Cocksfoot in the 1-2 metres at the bottom of
the ditch to stop the spread of Sterile Brome ingress into
the field proof was visible at Oak Park. Stop spraying
Roundup glyphosate products into the bottom of
hedges. The stand on grassweed identification and control
was very informative and the project lead by Jimmy Staples
will contribute a lot to grassweed control problems in
the future. Field margin management and enhancement
of natural pest predators, to try and minimise the impact
of losing insecticide products. The importance of bees
as pollinators of food crops such as peas, beans, apples,
soft fruit was stressed at the open day and farmers were
encouraged to allow hedgerows to flower and leave
field margins to flower. Catherine Keena pointed out that
Irish native plant species such as Whitethorn, Blackthorn,
Honeysuckle, Ivy are important for our native honey bees
whereas foreign garden flowers are not as beneficial.
The technology village highlighted the work being done
through the application of advanced genetic approaches to
improve crop performance and resilience
Improving farm sustainability: Tillage farmers were advised
of the benefits of using manures to build soil health in
tillage systems by improving soil organic matter. The
opportunities to make better use of crop rotations and
the options for winter cover crops were also highlighted.
The good news for tillage farmers is C foothprint (GHG
emissions) per hectare are lowest on tillage farms
compared to other enterprises. Dominika Krol, Teagasc
Johnstown Castle pointed to areas for further reducing
the carbon footprint of tillage. Optimise soil pH, P and
K and where possible use organic manures. Optimise N
application to growth. Use cover crops to reduce winter
fallow and utilise appropriate rotations. Minimum tillage
is very good for building soil organic matter but may
increase N2O. ASSAP Agricultural Sustainability Support
and Advice Programme - Eamon Grace from ASSAP told
me that the EPA has identified 190 priority catchments
or `areas for action' across the country where the status
of the water is at risk of failing to meet quality standards.
In these priority areas, ASSAP is focussing its resources
on addressing agricultural pressures and is made up of
scientists that will assess the streams and advisors (30)
who will be working with farmers in a free and confidential
advisory service to help improve water quality.
The importance of soil health and quality to support crop
productivity. NMP Online Fertiliser Plan Combining Teagasc
recommendations, nutrient advice maps and nitrates limits
looks to be a very useful service!
The Teagasc Forestry department spoke about the need to
make `room for trees on your farm' and highlighted how
trees can contribute as part of a whole farm approach. The
benefits include producing commercial timber, soaking
up carbon, improving water quality, providing homes for
wildlife, and producing a source of renewable energy.
Farm safety highlighted the dangers of operating machinery
and handling large fertiliser loads
CONFERENCE
2
0
1
9
Risk & Reward
A New Era for Agri-Food
SEPTEMBER
12
TH
& 13
TH
, 2019
LYRATH ESTATE HOTEL, KILKENNY
For more information and to book tickets,
visit
asaireland.ie
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
IFM_August.indd 25
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