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Agricultural Catchments

Agricultural Catchments Programme logoAbout the programme

The Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) commenced in 2008. The programme is coordinated and managed from the Teagasc Environmental Research Centre in Johnstown Castle. The current phase - Phase 4- runs from 2020 - 2023. Since 2008 the programme has amassed a unique environmental, agronomic and socio-economic data set unrivalled around the world. 

The same experiment has been run over the course of the programme in six catchments covering a range of landscape/soil/farming combinations. Thus the combination of data sets:

  • soils
  • groundwater
  • surface water
  • weather
  • ecology
  • farm practice
  • farmer attitudes
  • topography
  • economic returns

renders the ACP archives invaluable in the context of meeting the sustainable food production challenges. The ACP has also been a platform for training of students and staff, creating a network of young professionals within the wider agriculture and water sectors in Ireland and abroad.

Key findings

There are a number of findings from the ACP covering soils, nutrient management, weather and changes in farming.

Current phase - 2020 - 2023

The objectives for the Agricultural Catchments Programme have been updated to reflect the increasing need to improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions whilst increasing soil carbon sequestration. 

There are 12 key objectives for this phase 

Work packages

During this phase the programme of work delivered in the earlier Phases will continue and there is also an expansion. Tasks are rationalised into 8 work packages to facilitate the programme’s expansion to include the evaluation of new measures, greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions and soil carbon sequestration. An outline of the work packages is available here.


ACP is funded by: