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Environment Newsletter - August 2021

01 August 2021
Type Newsletter

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In this edition:

  • Low-input grassland
    Farmers with low-input grassland (LIG) in the Results-Based Environment-Agri Pilot Project (REAP) are being rewarded for the number and cover of flowering plants in their extensively managed grassland. The presence of flowers indicates a high level of biodiversity in a field with bees, butterflies and other invertebrates using the flowers. Old grassland of highest value contains species unchanged in centuries – never having been reseeded or fertilised. There is no need to fence field margins in these fields, as the centre of the field is similar to the margins.
  • Message from Signpost - Why do farmers need to engage with climate action?
    1. Social responsibility - 
    We are fortunate to live in a beautiful and diverse part of the world. Our children, and all future generations of farmers, local communities and wider society, deserve the same.
    2. Policy - We are bound by international agreements, EU and national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These policies mean that regulations will need to be implemented in the coming months and years to achieve the targets set.
    3. Protect our markets - The consumer is demanding food produced in a more sustainable manner, and farmers have an opportunity to delight these consumers.
    4. Climate change will impact how we farm - We will have wetter winters, drier summers, more extreme weather events, as well as increased risk of pests and disease. All of which will create challenges for farming in Ireland.
    5. Improved farm profitability - Many of the technologies farmers are being asked to implement to reduce emissions will also reduce costs and improve profitability. Farmers are part of the solution to emissions and this will create opportunities for income generation.
  • Message from ASSAP - Tillage cover/catch crops can help water quality
    There is a high risk of nitrate leaching from free-draining tillage fields in autumn/winter due to the absence of growing crops and high rainfall levels. Farmers can help reduce nitrate losses and impacts on water quality by targeting the establishment of cover or catch crops.