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Signpost Programme focuses on Sustainability

The theme of this year’s Teagasc Signpost Sustainability Month is “Know Your Number – Make a Plan”. On Friday, 6th October, the Teagasc National Farm Survey Sustainability Report 2022 will be published and launched as part of the Signpost Webinar Series. Join Teagasc researchers to learn about the sustainability of Irish Agriculture, especially the results for 2022.

 Signpost Programme focuses on Sustainability
October '23 is Sustainability Month and pictured at the launch at the National Ploughing Championships were: Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer, Tom O'Connor, Teagasc, Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity and Liam Quinn, Teagasc. Photo O'Gorman Photography

This on-line webinar will report the main economic, social and environmental indicators, using nationally representative data from the Teagasc National Farm Survey.  It will also include an update on development of a biodiversity indicator for National Farm Survey Farms.

Other highlights during sustainability month include results of a recent photo competition, a series of farm walks and webinars, podcasts and videos with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the actions farmers are taking to become more sustainable.  We will feature some of the Signpost Farmers who are making great progress in adopting the technologies that will make them more profitable and help to reduce emissions on their farms. We are working with IASTA to deliver a training module for Ag Science teachers across the country.  The annual meeting of two environmentally focused EU projects – ClimateFarmDemo and ClieNFarms - will also take place in Teagasc Moorepark, with over 150 delegates from across the EU attending.  Finally, the Signpost General Assembly, an event for Signpost Farmers and programme partners will take place during October.

Speaking ahead of sustainability month, George Ramsbottom, Head of the Teagasc Signpost Advisory Programme, highlighted the importance of farmers knowing their number and making a plan. “It’s important to measure what you want to change.  Farmers need to know the emissions figure for their farm to allow them to make a plan to reduce emissions.  Farmers now have the opportunity to know their number through the new AgNav sustainability platform and if they sign up to the Signpost Advisory Programme, they will have access to that number for their farm. Through our team of climate advisors, they will then be equipped to make a plan, specific to their own farm”.       

Tom O’Dwyer, Head of the Signpost Programme, highlighted the uptake of climate mitigation actions by the Signpost Farmers.  “The Signpost Farmers have worked closely with their Teagasc Advisors over the past two to three years, and we are beginning to see evidence of practice change on farm.  Fertiliser nitrogen use has declined, while lime usage, clover content on farms and protected urea usage have all increased.  These are positive steps on the road to achieving our emissions targets.”

For a full list of what is happening for sustainability month, see https://www.teagasc.ie/environment/climate-change--air-quality/signpost-programme/events/sustainability-month-2023/

AgNav is a new sustainability digital platform developed jointly by Teagasc, ICBF and Bord Bia.