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Teagasc Manure Management Report Launched

Teagasc has launched a new study examining manure management practices on Irish farms, which influence the environmental impact of agriculture.

Teagasc Manure Management Report Launched

Understanding manure management on Irish farms is important for use in the calculation of national emissions data for greenhouse gases and ammonia.

The study is based on analysis of farms with bovine animals over the 2017 to 2021 period using data collected by the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS). The study provides reliable detail on the duration of bovine animal housing periods, the prevalence of different types of slurry and farmyard manure storage facilities, the proportion of manures generated by different animal types, the extent of seasonality of manure application and the extent to which various slurry application and manures storage methods are employed.  Results are presented at an aggregate level and on a national, nitrate zone and farm system basis over the study period.

Finding contained within the report confirm a significant transition to low emission slurry spreading (LESS) methods over the study period.  Results indicate that the aggregate volume of slurry applied via LESS has moved from 4% in 2017 to 48% in 2021.  Trailing shoe, followed by trailing hose are the two most commonly used low emission slurry-spreading technologies. 

Commenting on the results of the study, Dr Cathal Buckley of Teagasc noted that the report will provide policymakers with critical information to support the continued development of Ireland’s national inventory accounting system for gaseous emissions in agriculture. Dr Buckley noted that, as farmers implement changes to farm management practices, such as the adoption of Low Emission Slurry Spreading, it is important that we are able to capture and reflect this activity in the greenhouse gas and ammonia national inventory accounting systems.

Head of the Teagasc Agricultural Economics and Farm Surveys Department and co-author of the report, Trevor Donnellan noted, “The Teagasc NFS has been adapted in recent years to collect a wider suite of management data relevant to the environment. This will allow the Teagasc NFS to provide greater support to policy development and ensure that the sector gets recognition for the progress it makes in addressing environmental objectives.” 

Please click on this hyperlink to view the full report A Report on Bovine Manure Management, Application and Storage Practices in Ireland 2017 to 2021