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Is Organics for you?

The targets set out in the Programme for Government is for farming 330,000 ha organically. With the next tranche of the organic scheme expected to open in early October many farmers are questioning if an organics system is for them?

At the ploughing this week the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett,  welcomed the issuance of approvals to applicants for the latest tranche of the Organic Farming Scheme. 336 new applicants who applied earlier this year have been approved and this will add 16,000 hew ha’s of land farmed organically in Ireland. There are new changes coming in 2023 with increased payments as outlined in Table 1.

Table : 1 Enhanced rates

  Year 1-2(in-conversion) << 70ha€/ha Year 1-2 (in-conversion) >70ha€/ha Year 3-5 (fully converted) << 70ha€/ha Year 3-5 (fully converted) >70ha€/ha
Drystock 300 60 250 30
Tillage 320 60 270 30
Dairy 350 60 300 30
Horticulture 800 60 600 30

Source : DAFM2022

In addition there will be a participation payment. Organic farmers incur additional expenses on an annual basis such as attending training and constantly upskilling themselves in soil health and animal management. The annual participation payment will be €2,000 in the first year of conversion and €1,400/year thereafter.

In this clip, meet our Teagasc organic specialists Elaine Leavy, Joe Kelleher and Martin Bourke who outline to us what you can expect to see at the upcoming OrganicBeef22 Open Day on the farm of John Purcell in Cashel, Co. Tipperary on Wednesday, 28 September 2022.

Seeing is believing

One of the best ways to see and experience an organic system is to meet the people that are already on the journey. A National Organic Beef Open Day takes place on the farm of John Purcell, Ross, Golden, Cashel, Co Tipperary on Wednesday, 28th September from 10am to 3pm. The open day is jointly organised by Teagasc, Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and will provide all farmers with the opportunity to see an organic beef farm in operation and discuss all aspects of production and marketing of the beef produced on the farm. The open day is aimed at providing up to date best practice for existing organic farmers and also will aim at providing an insight into organic farming methods for farmers contemplating converting their farms.

Topics for discussion on the day include beef production systems (beef stock demonstrations), organic markets, financial supports, clover, soil health, farm buildings for organic beef production, economics, habitats and biodiversity and an organic food village with exhibitors. Many stakeholders operating in the organic sector including certification, education and retail will be in attendance and will provide a one stop shop for farmers to cover all aspects of organic farming from technical knowledge to education to market development to financial supports and much more.

The final part of the open day will feature an open forum to discuss the future of the Irish Organic beef sector. The forum will be chaired by Damien O’Reilly and panellists will include a wide cross section of stakeholders from the Irish Organic sector.

It is a free event to attend and booking is possible here

Teagasc organic specialist Elaine Leavy is on this week’s Beef Edge podcast to give an insight into the new organic scheme opening in October, the key steps to consider in conversion and the upcoming national Organic open day.