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Support for farmers in Roscommon/Longford to take positive actions for climate

On the 27th June 2023, the Signpost Advisory Programme was launched by Teagasc in the Roscommon/Longford Advisory Region. This new advisory programme will complement existing advisory services and programmes already being provided to farmers in the region. The programme is designed to support and enable farmers to farm more sustainably with an emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their individual farms, thus contributing to the overall national effort by the agricultural and food sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. 

The programme will be an extension to the existing Signpost (Farmers for Climate Action) Programme that has established a network of more than 120 demonstration farms around the country, including 6 in Roscommon/Longford, in collaboration with 65 Industry Partners. The Signpost Advisory Programme will add significantly to this programme by providing individual farmers greater access to support and tools to help them to adopt the appropriate practices and technologies on their farms that will impact on the emissions from their farm.

This is a free advisory service and available to all farmers across all enterprises. The overall aim of the programme is to give all farmers the confidence to adopt new and existing technologies and production systems that will allow them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining and improving farm profitability. The programme will utilise an exciting new sustainability digital platform (to be known as AgNav), being developed collaboratively by Teagasc, ICBF and Bord Bia. This new AgNav platform will allow farmers to “Know My Number” by calculating and assessing the sources of emissions on their individual farms. The AgNav platform will also provide a way of comparing the impacts of different technology and farm practice options on reducing these emissions and for a farm to “Make My Plan” by selecting actions that can be implemented on the farm in the future that will reduce emissions.  

Speaking at the launch, Teagasc regional manager, Tom Kellegher highlighted, “The Signpost Advisory Programme will be our flagship programme over the next few years and will be the vehicle by which Teagasc at regional level will assist farmers (clients and non-clients) to reduce emissions and farm in a more sustainable fashion.”

Patrick O’Neill from Ballinalee, Co Longford is a member of the Teagasc Clover 150 Programme in the wider Teagasc/Lakeland Dairies Joint Programme area. He is one of the farmers already seeing the benefits of adopting new practices that are positive for climate and sustainability. Patrick shared his experiences of getting involved in the programme pointing out that “Clover incorporation has worked very successfully, and by continuing to focus on maintaining adequate pH levels in my soil and keeping Phosphorous and Potassium indices correct at 3 & 4, I can make the clover plant persist on my farm. Continuing he said, “I have achieved a reduction in chemical Nitrogen application to 147kg N/ha last year and this is a substantial cost saving to my farm business and equally a benefit to my farm’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

James Mimnagh has been appointed in the Teagasc Roscommon/Longford region to directly support this new programme. He brings a wealth of experience to this new role. James is from Moyne, Co Longford. They have stressed the importance of getting signed up for the programme. To sign up for the Signpost Advisory Programme click on: Sign up or contact to your local Teagasc advisor or advisory office.

There are a number of Signpost demonstration farms in the region; Shane Keavney, Olivia Hynes, Shane MooreCathal & Des McHugh and Kevin & Oisin Farrell