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Press article: Will weather change our fertiliser use?

The ACP was originally established to monitor water quality in 2009 with 300 farms involved across six catchments. Eddie Burgess has been involved since the beginning first as an advisor and now as manager. “There are six catchments and they were chosen to represent different farming systems, different soils types and ... this  way we could see what effect agriculture is having on water quality,” Eddie said.

The latest piece of research from the programme looks at the changing weather patterns and how they could affect water quality [read the paper ] It could potentially lead to a change in the way that farmers use fertiliser, while it could also play a part in policy decisions that are made at European level. Per-Erik Mellander is the Chief Scientist leading a team of researchers within the programme "I was looking at nitrates concentrations in ground water and surface water in one of the catchments. I know that the nitrate sources had remained steady over the years and travel times are relatively quick in this catchment so we knew what we were monitoring very much reflected what was happening at least maybe two years ago,” Per-Erik said.

The entire article appears in this week's issue of the Irish Farmers Journal and online access is via their subscription-based website