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Cork West Advisory Region

 

On behalf of Teagasc I would like to welcome you to the Cork West Section of the Teagasc website. This section gives you full up to date information on our Regional Unit; including our staff, our Advisory Programmes and Services, and our Advisory and Educational courses and public events. It also has links to other sites within Teagasc.

The Cork West Region is a diverse geographic region; lowlands and mixed farming system dominate the eastern half of the Region, while hills, mountains, peninsulas and islands are common landscape features in the west of the Region. Dairy farming is the predominant enterprise in the region with almost 2000 dairy farmers, The Peninsulas and Islands to the west are home to diverse communities, where tourism, fishing and service industries combine to subsidise the income of many part-time drystock farms. Tillage farming is also a significant enterprise in the Bandon/Kinsale area.

Through our four major programmes: Business and Technology; Environment; Rural Development; and Adult Education and Training, we provide a comprehensive range of services. In that range, we believe there is something to enhance every farmer’s business, regardless of enterprise, scale, age or gender. Our Business and Technology (B&T) Advisors cater for Dairy, Cattle, Sheep and Tillage farmers.

Services to contracted clients are delivered through farm visits, office consultations, farm walks, discussion groups, Today’s Farm magazine, seminars, conferences and a range of other events. TResearch is Teagasc’s research and innovation magazine. Teagasc has also published Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Drainage manuals which give all farmers access to precise information on their enterprise of choice. These manuals can be purchased from any local Teagasc Office. All farmers are welcome to public events and local media and radio is used extensively. Advisors within the unit contribute to C103 local radio on a regular basis.

Currently there are ten Dairy B&T Advisors in the Cork West region who service 30 discussion groups and 1200 dairy clients. Activities include Discussion group meetings and farm walks, public events on monitor farms and milk quality promotion and events. The Cork West unit has a major joint programme with locally based Carbery Milk Products and strong links with its four constituent Co-ops. The Teagasc/Dairygold joint programme is also catered for within the unit, three Teagasc/Dairygold Demonstration Farms and 12 discussion groups for Dairygold suppliers are operated by advisors.

We have six Drystock advisors, two of whom, also have roles in the soils and environment programme. We have one Teagasc/ Farmers Journal “BETTER” Farm Programme cattle farmer located in Lissarda near Macroom. This farm is new to the current phase of this innovative national initiative and the farm will be used to demonstrate the adoption and implementation of up-to-date best practices.

Many of our sheep farmers are based on the peninsulas and mountain areas and a sheep “BETTER” farm is located near Bantry, this farm has a hill sheep enterprise and is used to demonstrate best practice in husbandry and environmental protection. Sheep farming plays a really important role in the western end of the region, contributing to the economy and the environment.

Economic viability and sustainability of farms is one of our key priorities. Farm financial management is a clear focus of all events and with discussion groups. The Teagasc Profit Monitor is promoted widely among clients and specific advice is tailored to the clients’ situation, following the annual analysis of accounts.

Environmental sustainability and food quality assurance are high on the agenda of programmes within the unit and all major enterprises are given guidance on measures to protect natural resources on farms and to ensure as far as possible that food safety is given due importance.

Agricultural Education is one of our major activities within the Teagasc Region of Cork West. Currently we have two Education Officers delivering four part-time courses from our training centres in Macroom and Skibbereen. Students who did not attend the local Agricultural College in Clonakilty are our primary targets and they can achieve a Teagasc “Green Cert” over a three year period. Our Education staff are also Health and Safety trainers for TAMS and provide short courses to meet the scheme requirements.

Schemes and services support is provided by our Advisors to farmers applying for Basic Payment Scheme, Nitrates Derogation, TAMS 2, GLAS and other schemes that arise.

We have also streamlined the production and distribution of our technical newsletters which are sent to all our clients monthly. These cover dairy, beef, sheep and tillage every month, with additional newsletters covering areas such as forestry, farm management, rural development and the environment, periodically. The newsletters are written by our specialists to provide you with expert advice, taking account of the up-to-date conditions and latest events. Successful commercial farms in the future will increasingly depend on implementing and adapting cutting-edge technology to remain competitive.

On behalf of the Teagasc Staff in Cork West, I encourage all farmers to strive for efficiency in their chosen enterprises. Ensure the food coming from your farms is of the highest quality and keep food safety and traceability to the fore continuously. Farming must deliver incomes for the farm family and farming must continue to contribute to the local community.

For a full list of all the Services which Teagasc Advisory provides, please see this site or contact us for our Advisory Services brochure.

Farmers in Cork West can avail of these programmes by contacting me or any of my colleagues.

Billy Kelleher
Regional Manager, Cork West