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Awards Criteria

The following is an indicative list of the criteria which will be used to assess applicants for a Teagasc FBD Environmental Sustainability Award.

1. Actions taken to reduce gaseous emissions, including:

  • Reduced usage of fertiliser nitrogen;
  • Liming;
  • Usage of protected urea;
  • Optimum soil P and K levels;
  • Clover/ multi-species swards;
  • Usage of low-emissions slurry spreading equipment (LESS);
  • Improved breeding stock/genetics – improvements in EBI/ suckler replacement index;
  • Improved animal health;
  • Calving replacements at 24 months (dairy and suckler beef systems);
  • Earlier age at finishing.

2. Actions taken to improve water quality, including:

  • Availability of and investment in additional slurry storage capacity;
  • Efficient use/ recycling of animal slurries and manures;
  • Precision application of nutrients;
  • Improved overall nutrient management;
  • Reduced nitrogen surplus;
  • Protection of watercourses/ management of margins and buffer zones; and
  • Green cover/ cover crops (tillage).

3. Actions taken to enhance biodiversity, including:

  • Improved management of hedgerows;
  • Planting trees/ native woodland/ hedgerows;
  • Improved management of field margins;
  • Actions to protect existing on-farm habitats; and
  • Actions to protect native wildlife species - flora and fauna.

4. Actions taken to improve soil health and carbon, including:

  • Enhanced grassland management;
  • Clover/ multi-species swards;
  • Avoidance of soil compaction;
  • Minimum tillage;
  • Green cover/ cover crops;
  • Straw incorporation;
  • Inclusion of legumes in crop rotation;
  • Forestry;
  • Improved management of hedgerows; and
  • Water table management - peat soils

5. Overall farm productivity

6. Participation in sustainability programme:

  • Signpost Advisory Programme
  • Bord Bia Sustainable Assurance Scheme
  • EIP project
  • etc.