The resource for Break Crops and alternative crop options for Ireland
The CROPQUEST desk study project was undertaken to identify new crops/products/markets that can facilitate sustainable, viable crop production on Irish arable farms. The current lack of rotation and limited cropping options combine to threaten future viability and production sustainability, as the increasing level of monoculture leads to reduced yields and higher costs over time. Non-cereal crops currently account for just 9.6% of the arable area. New CAP reform proposals may make rotation obligatory. This study has four elements:
- A comprehensive review of possible broad-acre cropping options, with focus on immediate need for break-crops.
- Identification and evaluation of crop/market options. This methodology included literature review, industry engagement and SWOT analysis to develop a database of crop/product options.
- Economic assessment of the value to Irish agriculture.
- Dissemination to growers and industry through CROPQUEST website and a participative workshop for industry and a range of Teagasc advisory channels for growers.