Today's Farm - July/August 2022
The July/August edition of our bi-monthly magazine is now available online. In this edition Meet our Green Cert graduates. With Farm Safety Week in July we learn it's the most dangerous month. Also Seven steps to maximise lamb performance, Growing demand for oilseed rape; joining ACRES and more
View it here: Today's Farm - July/August 2022 (PDF)
The main enterprises of dairy, beef, sheep and crops are covered. Also in this edition are interesting articles on:
- Health and Safety - Why July is the most dangerous month
July is ‘danger month’ on farms. During the 10-year period described in Figure 1, July averaged 20 on-farm deaths. This is 66% or more than two-thirds higher than the next highest month, May, which accounted for an average of 12 deaths. Francis Bligh, Teagasc Farm Safety Specialist says: Any farm death is a tragedy and our aim here is to try to prevent not only the loss of life, but also the sadness and hardship for families which ensues from farm fatalities.
- Education - The Green Cert: the benefits to students are more than financial
In this article, Teagasc authors; Mark Moore, James Maher, Frank Murphy and Anne-Marie Butler want to highlight some of the non-financial reasons for getting your Green Cert, by meeting recent graduates in their home environment. All describe the personal growth they experienced. Many describe their increase in self-confidence as a result of completing the course. This article also gives details of the schedule of college open days and outlines the pathways to a green cert.
- Dairying - Lessons in attracting and retaining people
Here Martina Gormley Teagasc Dairy Specialist, Athenry empasises that flexible hours and good working conditions are key to attracting and retaining staff. Labour availability is a big talking point among dairy farmer employers and has been for several years. Finding and retaining good staff is a key challenge to sustainable dairy farm development. The focus must be on what we can do to attract people to work on dairy farms.
- Sheep - Building a brand in the west
When 40 sheep farmers from the Mayo areas of Tourmakeady, Louisburg, Ballycroy, Newport, and Achill came together in 2004, their aim was to improve the quality and marketing of their iconic Mayo Blackface breeding stock. To improve returns, farmers need to gain ‘market power’ by creating brands which reflect the true value of what they produce. Ólas Hill Farms is a great example. John Noonan, Teagasc advisor, Westport who was also a former group chairman and currently a committee member, tells us more.
- Tillage - Potato late blight - a foe for gardeners and farmers
Stephen Kildea is a Plant pathologist at the Teagasc Crop, Environment and Land Use Programme, Oak Park. He tells us that whether it’s a couple of plants or a couple of acres of potatoes grown, blight will find your crop. In most summers, if no control programme is in place, almost all crops will get blight. In recent years, Teagasc has been working with Met Éireann and Maynooth University to improve the late blight warnings issued throughout the summer. Stephen tells us more about this and the steps that farmers, growers and gardeners can take.
- Botanics - Agricultural diversification - Have you considered horticulture?
In general, as a subsector of agriculture in Ireland, horticulture is overlooked. It is a viable investment option for landowners and farmers, who already may have the prerequisite knowledge, tools and ability to diversify into fresh produce, but they do need to have the requisite skills to market their own produce. Carol Melody, Lecturer of Biodiversity, Ecology and Plant Science, Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture discusses horticulture as a viable diversificatino option and has information on the courses at the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, which has facilities at the wonderful National Botanic Gardens and Teagasc Ashtown.