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Events: my take-home message

Teagasc’s researchers attend many events throughout the year, sharing the findings from their research with national and international audiences. Here, we capture the take-home messages – key pieces of information that our researchers want people to remember – from recent events.

Back in bloom

TResearch AutumnEvent: Bord Bia Bloom 2022

Date: 2 to 6 June

After a two-year break, Bord Bia Bloom – one of Ireland’s largest showcases celebrating the best of Irish horticulture, food and drink – returned with a bang, with an incredible attendance of 113,500 visitors over five days.

Teagasc had an exhibit at the event, the theme of which was ‘Healthy People – Healthy Planet’. As part of the exhibit, our researchers educated attendees on potential peat alternatives.

Eoghan Corbett, a Teagasc researcher working in peat research, says: “Visitors to the stand had a great awareness of how damaging peat harvesting is in terms of habitat destruction and, to a lesser extent, of how peat bogs represent an important carbon store.

“However, they were generally not aware of just how important peat is (and has been) in glasshouse crop, nursery stock, field vegetable and mushroom production, and how the professional horticultural sector depends on high quality growth media that provide reliable and predictable yield and quality of produce.

“We spent time discussing the potential that indigenous bio-resources (e.g. wood) and emerging technologies (pyrolysis) may have in peat-alternative substrate production. There was real interest in Ireland’s move towards a more circular economy, whereby resources are better managed through their entire life cycle.”

The changing world of the potato

TResearch AutumnEvent: 11th World Potato Congress

Date: 30 May to 2 June

The 11th World Potato Congress took place this year, and was one of the first post-pandemic information and networking events for the global potato community. It was was organised by the Irish Potato Federation with support from Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia.

Over the course of the four-day event, there were over 60 speakers, 120 poster presentations, 1,000 delegates and 57 commercial exhibitors.

Denis Griffin, a potato breeder at Teagasc and one of the co-ordinators of the event, says: “Although potato is the third most important food crop globally, it is still underutilised. Continual research, investment and promotion of this crop are necessary to unlock its tremendous potential, which is why events like the World Potato Congress are so important.

“A particular focus for the event was the sustainably credentials of the crop, with its excellent resource-use efficiency in terms of fertiliser, water, land area and growing period. It was evident to all participants that the crop has incredible adaptation, and allows for production – and, a result, research – from the equator to the Arctic Circle.”

Save the date

Below Ground: Soil life in a changing climate

Date: 30 September to 6 November

Location: Johnstown Castle Museum

Do you know what goes on below our feet? A bustling community of plant roots, tiny animals, and microbes underpin our way of life – bringing us food, cleaning our water and regulating our climate. The life and wonder of soil is always with us, but rarely seen. So, we want to find out how vibrant soil communities are affected by climate change, and how this will affect us. Enjoy this exhibition from scientists and artists who bring the secrets of soil to life, and join us on our journey “below ground”!

This event is funded by Teagasc, Science Foundation Ireland and the British Ecological Society. It is part of the Festival of Farming and Food (Science Week).

Don’t miss out on Teagasc’s upcoming events! Visit our website to see what we have planned: www.teagasc.ie