Adapting to climate change on livestock farms
Animal agriculture is particularly vulnerable to more extreme weather, which was seen during the recent droughts in the south and east of the Island. Farming practices focusing on adaptation may not be the same as measures designed to mitigate emissions. Researcher Donal O'Brien gives some information.
Soil Health Series: Soil Physical Quality Indicators
Soil health can be described as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. Researchers at Teagasc Johnstown Castle and Oak Park along with colleagues at UCD recently investigated different types of soil physical indicators. Teagasc Researchers Owen Fenton, Dermot Forristal and Giulia Bondi give more information
NMP Online Software for a hard job
Do you work with your advisor on a Nutrient Management Plan for your farm? The online software to assist in this process is NMP Online. What is NMP Online and what advantage is it to farmers. Environment Specialist Tim Hyde gives some information.
The Water Cycle - where does all the water go? Sediment impact on water quality Webinar
Mark Gibson, Teagasc ConnectEd was joined by Owen Fenton and Daire OHuallichain, Teagasc to discuss The Water Cycle - where does all the water go? and sediment impact on water quality. The presentations were followed by a Questions and Answers session with the panel.
Soil Health is our Wealth
Our soils are precious resources and underpin sustainable food production and many other important ecosystem services for society. Our soild support the production of food, feed and fibre. There are many other functions supported by soil including, the re-cycling of nutrients, sequestration of carbon & regulation of our climate, purification and storage of water. Soils are also an important habitat for biodiversity. Researchers David Wall and Giulia Bondi have more information on soil.
The Water Cycle – where do all the water and nutrients go
The water cycle is a series of flows and storage components from rain to evaporation. The soil type on a farm determines the path the water takes from when it hits the ground until it evaporates. Researcher Owen Fenton gives information on where the water and nutrients go.
Webinar - Protecting Nitrogen and Phosphorus inputs on farms
The 13th a series of Sustainable Agriculture Webinars aimed at Irish Agri Professionals.Mark Gibson, Teagasc ConnectEd was joined by Mark Plunkett, Soil & Plant Nutrition Specialist and David Wall, Research Officer, Soil Science and Pat Murphy, Head of Environment KT to discuss Protecting Nitrogen and Phosphorus inputs on farms.
Ammonia Emissions in Agriculture: Sources, Importance and Mitigation
Ammonia is not a greenhouse gas, but it can indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers at Teagasc Johnstown Castle have been examining ammonia (NH3), which is a gaseous form of nitrogen and an air pollutant. Researcher Dominika Krol gives more information.
Good news for earthworm numbers in grazed pastures - the role of dung pats
Grazed grassland management regimes can have various positive and negative effects on soil fauna such as earthworms. Teagasc Johnstown Castle and UCD researchers Owen Fenton, Giulia Bondi and Olaf Schmidt tell us more about this supervised two year field study which examined the relationship between earthworms and dung pats.
Slurry timing & application to protect the environment
Good management of Slurry is needed to maximise grass growth, while at the same time minimise losses to our atmosphere and water bodies. ASSAP Advisor Ivan Kelly has some useful advice.
Webinar: Phosphorus - Interactions with soil and water
Dr Karen Daly, Teagasc Research Officer discussed Phosphorus - Interactions with soil and water.as part of the Signpost Series Webinars.
Drainage Ditch Connectivity to Surface Water
Do you have a Ditch, a Gripe, a Sheough or a Marein on your farm? You must avoid contaminants such as nutrients and pesticides from entering these ditches to protect water quality in the receiving streams. Read more from researchers Karen Daly and Owen Fenton
Safeguarding your soil biology
There is increasing awareness of the importance of soil biology in underpinning agriculture. The life beneath our feet is critical to the sustainability, resilience and functioning of our farming systems. Researcher, Fiona Brennan, talks about the important role played by the life within soil and provides some tips for safeguarding soil biology on your farm.
Liming reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases grassland productivity
Research in Johnstown Castle has shown that increasing soil pH by liming resulted in significant reduction of N2O emissions and increased grassland productivity compared to the un-limed plots under the same management and fertiliser regime.
Webinar: Nitrogen - Interactions with Soil and Water
Karl Richards, Teagasc discussed Nitrogen – Interactions with Soil and Water focusing on understanding nitrogen and soil interactions as part of the Signpost Series Webinars.
Teagasc and Dairy Sustainability Ireland publish the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) interim report
The report focuses on the establishment and implementation of the ASSAP in 2018 and interaction with farmers up until the 31st December 2019. The ASSAP programme is a key part of a wider government and community effort to improve water quality in 190 selected water bodies around the country by reducing agricultural and non-agricultural pressures.
Enhancing soil carbon sequestration to contribute to carbon neutrality on Irish farms
Carbon stored in soils is often called soil organic carbon and it is good for soils. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing it in plant material or soil. Researchers Donal O’Brien and Gary Lanigan have more information on carbon sequestration.
LIFE BEEF CARBON: Climate Smart Beef Production
The LIFE BEEF CARBON project aims to cut beef’s carbon footprint at low cost with minimal impact on soil health, water quality, air quality and biodiversity. Researchers Jonathan Herron and Donal O’Brien have some more information on the project
Factors Controlling Transport of Herbicides to Water
Herbicides are intensively applied in Irish agriculture (both grassland and arable) to control weeds and form an essential part of good agricultural management. Johnstown Castle Environment researchers are doing some research on the transport of these herbicides to surface and groundwater resources.
Environment Newsletter - June 2020
Get the latest information & advice from the Teagasc Environment team. In this month's edition: GLAS dates for your diary; Sustainable use of grassland herbicides; Consider non-spraying methods first; EIP UPDATE - BRIDE Project.
Two bees or not two bees: The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
Many Irish farms perform well in respect of the quantity of wildlife habitats they support. There is nonetheless a decrease in the quantity and quality of habitats and species dependent on agricultural landscapes. Researcher Daire Ó hUallacháin has information on the EU biodiversity strategy.
More good news for protected urea fertilisers - another formulation confirmed to reduce emissions while retaining yield in temperate grassland
Recent Teagasc research in Johnstown Castle shows that the use of protected urea formulations is an important option for optimising yield while reducing N2O and NH3 emissions.
The impact of bovines on watercourses – Creating a Farm Database for Policy Analysis
This study looked at the impact, cost effectiveness and potential benefits of fencing water courses from bovines to improve water quality.
Sulphur: deficiency, potential to boost growth and advice
There is potential for Sulphur (S) to boost grassland yields. There is onging research in Johnstown Castle on how to optimise this potential. Patrick Forrestal, Claire Aspel and Mark Plunkett have more information and some advice regarding silage and grazing
What is in dairy processing wastewater sludge (DPS)?
Very little is known about the volumes dairy processing sludge (DPS) produced, the types of DPS and their nutrient and metal profile. Johnstown Castle Environment researchers S.M. Ashekuzzaman & O. Fenton are doing some research.
Webinar - Low Carbon Dairy Farming
The ninth in a series of Greenhouse Gas Webinars aimed at Irish Agri Professionals, which took place on Friday, 29th May. James Humphreys, Teagasc Livestock Systems Researcher discussed "Low Carbon Dairy Farming".
Improved understanding of soil biology to reduce GHG emissions
Soil microbes are the key drivers of N transformations. Their activity determines to a large extent whether N is retained in a plant available form within soil, or lost to either air or water.
Optimal soil phosphorus reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Environment research in Johnstown Castle investigated the effect of long term P fertilisation on emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide in a number of experiments.
Phosphorus Use on Peat Soils
Peat soils behave differently to mineral soils for certain nutrients such as phosphorous. What is the best approach to take to ensure fertiliser P applications get utilised by the grass or crop?
Reducing the environmental hoof print in dairy, beef and sheep
What is the latest research into reducing livestock emissions? Donagh Berry quantitative geneticist and director of VistaMilk gives more some information.
Chemistry without chemicals? - Can we use light to measure lime requirement in soil?
There are a number of methods to measure the lime requirement in soil. Many of these need chemical reagents, and extraction or titrations to be carried out. An alternative using no chemicals is spectroscopy or ‘green chemistry’
Soil pH - What is it and how do we measure it?
Soil pH is a measure of hydrogen ion (H+) activity in the soil solution. Maintaining the soil pH at the optimum level increases the microbiological activity of the soil and results in better soil nutrient recycling/availability
What is in Farm Roadway Runoff?
Roadway Runoff contents within 100 m of the farmyard or where roadway configuration or quality impedes cow movement along the network are not dissimilar to dilute slurry or dairy soiled water.
Use of Protected Urea - Webinar
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Training Webinar with David Wall and Patrick Forrestal who focused on the Use of Protected Urea.
Teagasc celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity
Friday 22 May is the United Nations International Day for biological Diversity. Farming in a sustainable manner is essential to maintain biodiversity in farmed habitats
Teagasc ask farmers to be ‘bee friendly’
Bees need flowers and on World Bee Day, Teagasc reminds farmers to allow space for common wildflowers to grow and flower on farms. A diversity of common flowering plants is needed in hedgerows, field margins, field corners, along farm roadways and around farmyards.
Why monitor water quality so often?
The Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) has been monitoring water quality in the river outlets of six catchments every 10 minutes for over 10 years. Per-Erik Mellander and the Teagasc Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) team tell us more.
Weather Impacts on the Agricultural Catchments Programme
We are all well aware that our weather and climate have a major influence on agricultural production. The Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) have been studying the influence of agriculture on water quality for over ten years in six small intensively farmed areas.
Wild Bird Cover providing a giant bird-table
The purpose of growing wild bird cover crops is to provide seed for birds during the winter when demand is highest. Catherine Keena, Countryside Management Specialist, Teagasc tells us more.
Reducing Slurry Emissions Webinar
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Training Webinar with Mark Plunkett and David Wall who focused on Reducing Slurry Emissions.
Sustainable Use of Grassland Herbicides
It is essential for farmers to take great care and follow best practice procedures when using pesticides, in particular applying grassland herbicides. Kieran Kenny, Teagasc ASSAP Advisor tells us more.
Advisory service to work with farmers to help improve water quality
In Ireland all water policy and management is led by the Water Framework Directive. Under this directive Ireland has been set a target of achieving ‘good status’ for all waters in Ireland. Noel Meehan gives information on an advisory service for farmers.
Sustainable Dairy: The role of white clover
Teagasc Moorepark has quantified the potential of white clover to improve the sustainability of milk production. It poses a promising environmental impact mitigation measure for pasture-based dairy systems.
Water quality: the role of sediment
Excessive sediment can significantly impact the condition of freshwater habitats, resulting in a deterioration of water quality. It can have a greater impact than more standard pollutants such as phosphorus and nitrogen
Maintaining the Derogation - Webinar
Guest speaker Jack Nolan, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) discussed maintaining the Derogation – the changes we need to see for a credible case.
Soils - the multifunctional resource
Soil is no longer considered only the media for food production. It is also a resource for a range of ecosystem services including nutrient cycling; carbon sequestration and climate regulation; water purification; and a habitat for biodiversity. Giulia Bondi and Lilian OSullivan tells us more
Agricultural nitrous oxide emissions: How animal excreta and fertiliser management fit together
Agriculture produces 90% of N2O in Ireland, mainly through synthetic fertilisers, animal excreta and slurry. All these materials contain nitrogen (N), and part of this N is lost to the atmosphere as a result of agricultural activities. Dominika Krol, Teagasc Johnstown Castle tells us more.
What happens to your soil sample when it comes into a lab?
Soil is a major source of nutrients needed by plants for growth. How is the soil sample sent into a lab tested for the three main nutrients NP & K.
Steps to improve land drainage capacity
ENVIRONMENT: Drainage systems need to be maintained. A maintenance plan should be put in place for both in-field and open drains, focusing on areas susceptible to blockages.
Protected Urea – why now?
ENVIRONMENT: Teagasc research has shown that protected urea nitrogen fertiliser offers the single largest emission reduction potential to Irish farmers.
Soil Spectroscopy at Teagasc Johnstown Castle
ENVIRONMENT: Spectroscopy is an analytical technique that uses light to analyse a sample. Johnstown castle use the interaction of light with soil to give useful information
Silage Pit and Effluent Management
ENVIRONMENT: Does your silage pit and silage effluent collection and storage facilities meet the standards required by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFM)?
Reducing carbon footprint of agriculture
ENVIRONMENT: How can Irish agriculture reduce its carbon emissions – Donal O’Brien gives information on Improving efficiencies, low emission technology and carbon sequestration
Lower GHG emissions from urine and dung patches than previously thought
ENVIRONMENT: A recent project measured N2O from urine and dung in spring, summer and autumn on well-drained, moderately-drained and imperfectly-drained pasture soils - Dominika Krol tells us more.
Fertiliser Advice for Grass Establishment
GRASSLAND: Mark Plunkett specialist in soil and plant nutrition gives some timely advice on soil testing and fertiliser use for grass establishment.
Spreading the benefits – Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS)
ENVIRONMENT: The typical value of 1,000 gallons of cattle slurry applied by low emission slurry spreading (LESS) method in springtime has an available N-P-K content equivalent to a 50 kg bag of 9-5-32.
New Hedgerow Planting on Teagasc Farms
ENVIRONMENT: The majority of Teagasc farms exceed average of approximately 7% of habitats on intensive farms in Ireland. There are opportunities to increase the quantity.
Buffer Strips for Fertiliser Applications - Chemical and Organic
ENVIRONMENT: Farmers must abide by good practice regulations when applying fertilisers. The farmer must also know the relevant buffer zones.A buffer zone is a no spread area which is used for the protection of water against pollution.
Timely Soil Quality Tips
ENVIRONMENT: Fertiliser nutrients are routinely applied by farmers to achieve high crop yields. The management of soil structural quality is potentially more important. Lilian O’Sullivan and Giulia Bondi have some timely advice
Grassland re-seeding: how to establish multi-species sward
ENVIRONMENT: There is a lot of interest in multi-species swards at the moment. Guylain Grange from Johnstown Castle research centre gives information and advice for those wanting to sow them.
Derogation Review Changes - Improving environmental outcomes
ENVIRONMENT: If you are one of the 7,000 derogation applicants in 2020 there are eight changes that affect you. You will need to discuss the changes with your Agri-Advisor and put a plan in place to meet these requirements in 2020 and beyond.