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Pillar 4:
An impactful Knowledge Transfer programme


To deliver an impactful Knowledge Transfer programme to support the implementation of ‘The 8-Actions for Change’.

Key Actions:

  • Advisors will co-develop tailored solutions with farmers to address specific water
    quality issues (nutrients, sediments, pesticides, modification of the watercourse habitat) in their catchment area.
  • Teagasc will offer all clients the opportunity to develop a water quality improvement
    plan for their farm; this will focus on a number (c. 5) of critically important mitigation
    measures that are specific to and can be impactful on each farm.
  • At least four public ‘Better Farming for Water’ campaign events held in each of Teagasc’s 12 advisory regions annually in collaboration with campaign partners.
  • The ‘Better Farming for Water’ campaign in each advisory region will be coordinated
    by a lead advisor, ensuring strong collaboration with the ASSAP – Agricultural
    Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme advisor in that region.
  • Six water catchments (Boyne, Slaney, Barrow/Nore, Suir, Blackwater and Lee/Bandon
    will be prioritised in the first two years of the programme; a Water Catchment
    Coordinator will be allocated to each of these catchments to coordinate the KT
    programme and ensure the multi-actor approach is used.
  • The current discussion group network will prioritise improvement in water quality as
    part of their programme over the next two years.

Knowledge transfer between advisors and farmers is a core element to improve water quality. All drystock, dairy and tillage advisors will engage in the delivery of information and advice to farmers.
Information sharing will include discussion groups, regional events and one to one consultations, to focus on the most relevant mitigation measures from the 8-Actions for Change.

In running this campaign, Teagasc will seek to coordinate the Knowledge Transfer campaign with other stakeholders to the maximum extent. It will build on the excellent work currently ongoing in the ASSAP programme and link out to other initiatives such as the Farming for Water EIP, Waters of LIFE, Blue Dot Catchments.

Teagasc will also integrate water quality messaging into the Signpost Programme and AgNav will be developed to estimate purchased N (and P) surplus and N use efficiency for a farmer, and its decision support function will allow a plan to be developed to help reduce these surpluses. The plans farmers develop with Signpost Climate and Sustainability Advisors will include reducing N (and P) surplus.

A lead advisor will be identified in each of the 12-Teagasc Advisory regions to coordinate the campaign in the region, supported by a corresponding ASSAP Advisor. The campaign events will include elements which serve both Teagasc clients and non-clients.

The ‘Better Farming for Water’ campaign knowledge transfer programme will focus on the 8-Actions for Change:

  • Reduce purchased N and P surplus per hectare
  • Ensure soil fertility is optimal for lime, P and K
  • Ensure application of fertiliser and organic manure at appropriate times and conditions
  • Have sufficient slurry and soiled water storage capacity
  • Manage and minimise nutrient loss from farmyards and roadways
  • Fence off watercourses to prevent bovine access
  • Promote targated use of mitigation actions such as riparian margins, buffer strips and sediment traps to mitigate nutrient and sediment loss to water
  • Maintain over-winter green cover to reduce nitrate leaching from tillage soils

Key Deliverables

Q3 2024

Discussion groups/farm walks discuss and share water quality information in adjacent catchment

Q3 2024

Regional teams (manager, ASSAP advisor & lead advisor) established

Q4 2024

Water quality regional events initiated

Q4 2024

Development of whole farm water quality assessment templates and tools for advisors