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Farming the Smart way
The Smart Farming Programme is delivering results. That's the unchallengeable conclusion Matt
O'Kee e reached after a recent chat with Thomas Ryan, Environment Secretary with IFA.
Thomas is in charge of the Programme and outlined the
benefits of participating in the Smart Farming initiative:
"We are very proud of what has been achieved to date.
One of the most impressive aspects of Smart Farming
is how willing the volunteer participants are to share
their experiences in terms of cost savings as well as
environmental improvements. Looking back at 2018,
on average, participating farmers identified over 7,000
in cost savings and through using the Teagasc/Bord Bia
Carbon Navigator, reduced their environmental impact
by nine percent. This is a good news story that is often
not told or heard of when there are criticisms of the
sustainability credentials of Irish farming."
Broad based sustainability
The continuing development of the Smart Farming
Programme was the subject of a conference held at
Portlaoise at the end of April. The IFA environmental
expert outlined future goals: "Sustainability across the
whole food chain is a priority. The sustainability challenge
is not going away. It encompasses the development of
renewable energy initiatives and how farmers can be
involved. Grassland management on beef farms is another
priority as it relates directly to improved profitability in the
sector. The management of crude protein in the animal's
diet is another aspect of improving performance. Practical
farm models are being used to show that growing trees
as well as producing beef are compatible and profitable,
allowing financial improvement at the same time as
improving environmental performance on farms. We are
also focusing on models which allow intensive farming
in tandem with improved environmental practices. I am
constantly struck by the research being done in improving
environmental outcomes while farming profitably.
Sometimes we miss the opportunities that are available
and our intention is to highlight those opportunities and
encourage more farmers to adopt them."
Reshaping the CAP
The big savings which facilitate both environmental
Beef Focus
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