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Minister Visits Timoleague Agricultural Catchment

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD visited the Timoleague Agricultural Catchment in West Cork, today, Monday, 29 August. The catchment is part of the Agricultural Catchments Programme run by Teagasc.

During the visit to the Timoleague Catchment, Minister Coveney launched a major 3-day international conference entitled ‘Catchment Science 2011’ which will take place in the Mansion House, Dublin, from 14th to 16th September. This International Conference aimed at scientists, policy makers, farmers and land managers is jointly hosted by Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

There are six catchments in the Agricultural Catchments Programme which is based on a partnership with farmers and other stakeholders and aims to support productive agriculture while protecting water quality. The programme integrates advice and research and operates in small river catchments of 600 to 2,500 hectares.

The programme, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and run by Teagasc, is implemented by a team of researchers, advisers and technicians working closely with farmers. The programme advisers provide an intensive advisory and planning service to farmers in the catchments to improve the profitability of the farms and help the farmers to implement the Good Agricultural Practice measures contained in the National Action Programme.

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle commended the Minister and his Department on its initiative in establishing the agricultural catchment programme and providing the necessary funding. He also commended the farmers in the six catchment areas for their support and engagement with the programme. Speaking in Timoleague Professor Boyle said: “Food Harvest 2020 has set targets for a 50% increase in milk production and a 40% increase in the value of beef production. This growth must be achieved in an environmentally sustainable way and the Agricultural Catchments Programme will provide the knowledge that is needed to ensure this can be achieved.”

Also speaking at the launch, Ger Shortle, Manager of the Agricultural Catchments Programme said: “The combination of good free-draining soil and intensive grass-based dairying in Timoleague places this catchment at the centre of the drive to develop more economically and environmentally sustainable dairy farming in Ireland.”

 


Ger Shortle, Teagasc; Kevin Collins, Timoleague; Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine
& Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, on a visit to the Teagasc Agricultural Catchment in Timoleague to
launch the Catchment Science 2011 Conference which takes place on September 14th-16th