Mayo Advisory Region
On behalf of Teagasc, I would like to welcome you to the Mayo section of the Teagasc website. This section gives you up to date information on our Region including:
- Advisory Programmes and Services
- Advisory and Educational courses
- Public events
- Our services
- Local media
- Water quality
- Technical services
- Schemes and services
There are also links to other sites within Teagasc.
The Mayo Region is a diverse geographic region; lowlands and mixed farming systems dominate the eastern half of the Region. In the west of the Region hills, mountains, peninsulas and islands are common landscape features. The county is renowned for its excellent food production. Cattle, sheep and mixed farming are the predominant enterprises. The region in general including the Islands to the west is home to diverse communities, where tourism, fishing and service industries combine to subsidise the income of many part-time drystock farms.
Sustainable farming practices in terms of reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the environment are a major focus of our advisory programme. Food quality assurance is also high on the agenda of our programmes to help farmers to produce the best quality food demanded by the marketplace. Through our major programmes: Business and Technology; Environment; Rural Development; and Adult Education and Training, we provide a comprehensive range of advisory and education services. We are committed to developing technically efficient and sustainable farm enterprises for all farmers in the region and we believe there is something to enhance every farmer’s business in our programme, regardless of enterprise, scale, age or gender. Our Business and Technology (B&T) Advisors cater for Dairy, Cattle and Sheep farmers. We also have a forestry advisor available to farmers in the region.
Delivery of services
Services to contracted clients are delivered through unlimited office/phone consultations, farm visits, farm walks, open days, discussion groups, Today’s Farm magazine, seminars, conferences and a range of other events. TResearch is Teagasc’s research and innovation magazine and is available to Teagasc clients in your local office with updates on current research projects taking place in our various research centres. Our competitive advisory and service fees are published annually with no hidden charges.
Our technical newsletters are sent to all our clients on a monthly basis. These cover dairy, beef, and sheep every month, with additional newsletters covering areas such as forestry, farm management, rural development and the environment. Newsletters are written by our expert specialist core to provide you with excellent advice, taking account of the up-to-date research, conditions and latest events. Successful commercial farms in the future will increasingly depend on implementing and adapting cutting-edge technology to remain competitive.
Listen to our expert local advisors on week evenings on Midwest Radio farming programme and also read our weekly article in the farming pages of the Western People. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at Teagasc Mayo. Check out our technical videos recorded by our advisors on our Teagasc Mayo YouTube channel.
Events: All farmers in the region are encouraged to and are very welcome to attend our public events such as seminars, farm walks and open days across all enterprises during the year. These events are advertised in local papers, radio and social media.
Discussion groups: We encourage all farmers in the region to join our excellent discussion groups in dairy, beef and sheep. These groups are a social and fun way to learn from your advisors and other farmers on a monthly basis.
Our dairy team consists of 2 dairy advisors based across two offices in Mayo. Both these advisors work alongside the programme advisor with the Aurivo joint programme. The dairy team provides advisory support to over 200 dairy clients and also facilitates 8 discussion groups. Activities include consultations, farm visits, monthly discussion group meetings, farm walks, public events on monitor farms and milk quality promotion and events.
The Mayo unit has a major joint programme with locally based Aurivo Co-op. There are currently 2 monitor farmers attached to this programme. Public events are targeted at all dairy farmers in the region.
Our drystock team is made up of 17 beef and sheep advisors. Our drystock team focus on increasing the kgs of beef and lamb sold from the farm by improving technical efficiency and management. The team also focus on maximising the contribution of the farm asset to the household income through improved efficiency, scheme participation and the development of new and alternative income sources such as artisan food and agri-tourism enterprises. The team facilitates beef and sheep discussion groups in the region.
Water quality is a key focus of our programme in Mayo and we have two dedicated advisors to the ASSAP programme to work with all farmers in the designated catchments in the region. This is done in collaboration with industry stakeholders such as local co-operatives and LAWPRO. The Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) was developed to address requirements under the Nitrates Directive and to investigate the specific links between intensive agriculture and water quality. It is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and operated by Teagasc. Working with approximately 300 farmers in the six catchments, staff are collecting a wide range of data on a near-continuous basis. For example, at the outlet of each catchment, stream phosphorus and nitrogen levels are measured three to four times per hour. The total number of data points runs to many millions per year. The Cregduff catchment is located just outside Ballinrobe represents free draining shallow shallow soils over kartifised limestone and provides a service for 110 Teagasc clients located in a 3000ha catchment.
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 available to all Teagasc clients and we encourage all farmers to complete an annual profit monitor. It gives and in-depth analysis of farm performance that cannot otherwise be got from farm tax accounts. It does this by linking the technical performance on the farm with the financial performance. It is promoted widely among clients and specific advice is tailored to the clients’ situation, following the annual analysis.
Milk, beef and lamb that is produced from grazed grass is our main competitive advantage and is what consumers are willing to pay higher prices for. PastureBase is a new online grassland management tool to help farmers to maximise the use of grazed grass in their system. Our advisors are available to support any farmer who wishes to get up and running using PastureBase.
Agricultural Education is one of our major activities within the Teagasc Mayo Region. Our 4 Education Officers deliver part-time QQI Level 5 and 6 courses and QQI Level 6 distance courses from our training centres in Ballinrobe and Ballina. We offer a well-structured part-time option to students who work full-time. We also have a qualified Health and Safety trainers for TAMSII that provide short courses to meet the scheme requirements.
Schemes and services support is provided by all our Advisors to farmers applying for Basic Payment Scheme, Nitrates Derogation, TAMSII, GLAS, BEEP-S, BEAM, BDGP, Sheep Welfare Scheme plus any other schemes that arise.
Working with other professional bodies in the region such as co-operatives, marts, solicitors, accountants, banks and other service providers is critical to enable engagement with all farmers in the region.
On behalf of the Teagasc Staff in Mayo, 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 Mayo can avail of these programmes by contacting me or any of my colleagues.
Regional Manager, Mayo