Minister McConalogue launches Teagasc Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign
The Teagasc Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign for 2022 has been launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD. This Teagasc initiative is in response to the unprecedented fertiliser prices, and potential supply availability concerns arising in Spring 2022. The initiative came as a direct response following a request by Minister McConalogue of Teagasc.
Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue TD said: “I have been closely monitoring the rise in fertiliser prices over the past six months and it is something I am seriously concerned about. In October 2021, I requested Teagasc Director Professor Frank O’Mara to lay out a credible roadmap to assist farmers in the short term as well as offering a long-term solution in the move to reduce our dependency on chemical fertiliser. That is why I am excited to see the Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign come to life. Teagasc has assembled practical, easy to use, information which will assist farmers, advisors and other stakeholders to optimise the use of valuable plant nutrients. This is a campaign that will be good for the environment and good for the pocket. This is an important roadmap for the short, medium and long-term that will help reduce our dependency on chemical fertiliser in a sustainable manner.”
The Teagasc Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign is assisting farmers to address the challenge of maintaining farm output whilst dealing with the rising cost and availability of fertilisers internationally. Teagasc Director, Professor Frank O Mara said; “Teagasc are urging farmers to focus on Nutrient management planning, optimisation of soil fertility, using organic manures strategically and increasing clover in swards, all balanced with prudent fertiliser usage. The knowledge base in Teagasc will be available through our advisors and specialists to assist farmers to adapt to the current fertiliser market, and support them to make informed decisions.”
Pat Murphy, Head the Teagasc Environment Knowledge Transfer Department said; “the crucial need to protect our environment means that prudent management of plant nutrients on grass and tillage crops is more vital than ever. The timing, rates of application, and choice of chemical fertilisers and organic manures will have an impact on profitability. Careful use of plant nutrients will also minimise the risk of releasing greenhouse gases into the air, or nutrients to our waters.”
A compendium of 20 factsheets has been assembled by Teagasc to provide the latest technical advice and are available for all farmers to view and download on https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/soil--soil-fertility/soils-nutrients-and-fertiliser-factsheets/ . They can also be viewed and downloaded on the Publications section of the Teagasc website here https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2022/soils-nutrients-and-fertiliser-factsheets.php .
They cover soil testing, lime application, organic manures, clover, P and K advice, and protected urea. There are also detailed enterprise factsheets with practical advice for farmers with cattle, sheep, dairy and tillage businesses. The importance of growing enough grass this year and securing enough fodder for next winter are also addressed in individual factsheets.
Teagasc have a detailed programme of knowledge transfer events, published articles, videos, and podcasts providing information for farmers as part of the Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign. These are available through www.teagasc.ie and other Teagasc digital platforms.