Teagasc Grass10 Campaign Launched
The Teagasc Grass10 Campaign was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork, today, Friday 27 January.
Grass10 is a four year campaign to promote sustainable grassland excellence for Irish livestock. It aims to increase grass utilisation on Irish livestock farms. Its objective is to increase the number of grazings per paddock to 10 and the amount of grass utilised to 10 tonnes grass dry matter per hectare. Grass10 incorporates the roll-out and promotion of the re-launched PastureBase Ireland online grassland database. Livestock farmers can use this platform to record their grass covers, and easily monitor their performance in relation to the Grass10 targets of a number of rotations and grass utilised.
The Teagasc Grass10 campaign is supported by AIB, FBD Trust, Grassland Agro the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Irish Farmers Journal.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Creed said: “The Teagasc Grass10 Campaign is an important part of my Department’s ‘Sustainable Year of Grassland’ initiative. Grass based production systems are at the heart of our efficient dairy, beef and sheep sector, and recognised and valued by our international customers as a sustainable system.”
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “There are four important pillars to the Grass10 campaign namely, soil fertility, sward composition and reseeding, grassland management and grazing infrastructure. Livestock farmers who want to get the most from grassland will have to address all four areas and this campaign aims to provide the technical knowledge and required skills to all farmers to achieve that. The roll-out of the new PastureBase Ireland website is a key component of this campaign as it will allow our advisors to provide improved advice and decision making support to livestock farmers. “
Head of the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation programme Professor Pat Dillon thanked all the Grass10 partners - AIB, FBD Trust, Grassland Agro, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Irish Farmers Journal, for their support for the four year campaign. “We are currently looking to recruit a Grass10 Campaign Manager and recruit two advisors to complete the campaign team, while we will also be fully leveraging other resources within Teagasc.”
The campaign will deliver a range of activities over the next four years including: new grassland training modules for farmers and students, a network of grassland demonstration farms, improved grassland advice underpinned by PastureBase Ireland, a revamped grassland website, and a Grassland Farmer of the Year competition.