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Teagasc Sustainability Week 2022

The Teagasc Signpost Sustainability Week will take place from 14 - 21 October. The theme of Sustainability Week 2022 is 'Farming for a Better Future', when a series of public in person and virtual events will take place.

Teagasc Sustainability Week 2022
The Teagasc Signpost Sustainability Week will take place from 14 - 21 October. Pictured launching the upcoming sustainability week were; Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, Dr Tom O Dwyer, Head of the Signpost programme, Dr Siobhan Kavanagh, Communications Manager for the Signpost programme and John Spink, Head of the Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land use programme.

The week’s activities will kick off on Friday, 14th October at 9.30am on the weekly Teagasc Signpost webinar series, when Dr Seamus Kearney from the Teagasc Signposts programme, with Dr Deirdre Hennessey and Signpost Dairy Farmer Edwin Thompson, Teagasc Tipperary Joint Programme will discuss the 1st step to reducing emissions on all farms – reducing emissions from chemical N.

On Monday, 17 October, the Teagasc Rural Economy programme will publish the annual Teagasc Sustainability Report for 2021, which is based on data collected from farmers through the National Farm Survey. The reports tracks the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Irish farms. Details will be presented on Monday, 17th October at 2pm. Visit https://www.teagasc.ie/news--events/national-events/events/sustainabilityreport2021.php to register for this webinar.

Other Highlights for the programme for the Sustainability Week will see a daily focus on a particular issue:

Monday, 17 October - Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are greenhouse gases generated by agriculture, which have a negative impact on climate change. In agriculture methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) are the most important. Agriculture contributes over one third of Ireland’s national greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture now has a target of a 25% reduction ion greenhouse gasses to be achieved by 2030.

Tuesday, 18 October - Enhancing Farm Biodiversity

The Irish landscape provides a rich variety of natural, cultural and built heritage. Here, we outline a range of relevant Teagasc resources that address farmland biodiversity and the Irish countryside. These include an overview and some detail on current and recent research projects, as well as a collection of Teagasc leaflets and information booklets.

Wednesday, 19 October - Improving Soil Health

Teagasc has a long history of soils research and is currently working at the cutting edge of soils research in association with national and international collaborators. The current Teagasc programme focuses on the chemical, physical and biological health of agricultural soils and the development of sustainable soil management advice which enhances soil functions including soil biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, productivity, and water purification and storage.

Thursday, 20 October - Improving Water Quality

In Ireland all water policy and management is led by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and under this, the country has been set a target of achieving ‘good status’ for all its waters. However, despite a lot of good work over the last 20-30 years we are falling short in achieving this target and water quality has remained mainly static with no significant improvement being recorded. Updates will be provided on the work of the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) to help improve water quality, and also on the latest from the Agricultural Catchments Programme.

Friday, 21 October - Teagasc Signpost Series Webinar

On the Teagasc Signposts webinar series on Friday, 21 October, Dr Tom O‘Dwyer, Head of the Teagasc Signpost Programme, will launch the Signpost Sustainability Report and discuss the progress being made on the Signpost farms. The Signpost Programme ‘Farmers for climate action’, which includes over 60 organisations and companies, and includes over 120 demonstration farmers across the range of farming enterprises.  

Photo Competition

Sustainability Week 2022 will see the start of quarterly photo competitions where Teagasc will be inviting photo entries from the public relating to the quarterly climate actions. The first competition will focus on Autumn climate actions and there is €250 up for grabs.

College Open Days
The Teagasc Agricultural Colleges are hosting a series of open days at the colleges for prospective students with a theme of sustainable farming.  It’s an opportunity to learn a little more about sustainability as well as entering a competition to win a prize  in each college.

See www.teagasc.ie/sustainabilityweek for all activities taking place during sustainability week.