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Farmer testimonial on the ASSAP service

John Landers has a dairy farm beside the Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford. The river Colligan runs through John's land, it is one of 190 priority areas for action (PAA’s) where water quality needs some improvement.

On his dairy farm in County Waterford John Landers finishes 90% of the animals born on the farm. John is very keen to ensure his work does not impact on the water quality of the river Colligan which runs through his land.  

The Colligan river is one of 190 priority areas for action (PAA’s) selected as part of the Agricultural Sustainability Support & Advisory programme (ASSAP) where water quality needs some improvement.

As John is in one of the PAA’s he received a letter to invite him to a farmers meeting hosted by ASSAP advisors to discuss the free, confidential & voluntary advisory service that ASSAP offers. He was interested in working with an ASSAP advisor to develop a sustainability plan for his farm and to focus on improving water quality, so he arranged for the Waterford ASSAP advisor to visit his farm.

After a walk of the farm discussing nutrient management planning (NMP), farmyard and land management, a plan was made focusing on what actions would benefit John’s farm. The areas identified to work on were;

  • reseeding
  • restricting animal access to the river
  • placement of hedges to block runoff pathways
  • use of protected urea
  • developing a fertilizer plan based on soil testing.

Many of the areas where John is focusing his attention will not only bring environmental benefits but improve production on the farm also.

John's goal is to become as sustainable as possible, increasing nutrient use efficiency and cutting back on chemical nitrogen application whilst maintaining grass production targets.

Get more information on Water Quality Week here