Farmers invited to visit Origin Green award-winning farm

Farmers are being invited to a Bord Bia organised farm walk in Co. Cork on Friday, May 3, on an Origin Green award-winning dairy farm.

Trevor and Olive Crowley will host the event on their farm in Lissarda – approximately 40km west of Cork city – where they will share information on their sustainable farming practices.

They won the Origin Green Farmer Award 2018 for their reduced carbon footprint in dairy, achieving an apparent reduction of 18% per kilogram of milk solids, through a combination of a longer grazing season, a reduction in nitrogen application and reduced manure emissions.

Those in attendance will receive “practical advice” from representatives of Bord Bia, Teagasc, and Dairygold, to whom the Crowley’s supply their milk.

Guests will get an insight into some of the methods the family have used to improve their sustainability, including the use of regular soil sampling to increase days at grass.

As well as that, their addition of clover to some plots has led to increased milk solids and reduced the need for nitrogen mid-season.

Some of the other methods used on the farm include: a targeted approach to slurry spreading, directing it to where it’s most needed and using a trailing shoe rather than more conventional equipment; and fertiliser application using a calibrated, GPS-equipped spreader.

We are delighted to host the event. We’ve been on many farm walks ourselves and we know how useful they can be in terms of learning new skills and receiving new insights.

“We hope to show visitors how – through implementing the sustainable farming techniques advised by Dairygold, Teagasc and Bord Bia – we have achieved some very positive results,” said Trevor Crowley.

Billy Cronin, Dairygold’s head of supply chain, said: “The highest standards of farming practices are evident on the Crowley’s farm, and we thank the Crowley family for giving visitors an opportunity to see best-practice dairying in operation.”

At the walk, Bord Bia will also launch its new Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) Producer Report, which is based on a number of farm audits that were conducted throughout the country; Bord Bia hopes that this will give farmers feedback on sustainable targets.

“80% of Irish dairy produce is exported, so the economic success of the sector depends on attracting the best customers in the best markets,” said Mary Morrissey, senior manager of Bord Bia’s dairy division.

She added: “The Crowley’s achievements and pursuit of farming environmental excellence are living proof for international food buyers of the dedication of Irish dairy farmers to respecting the environment in which they work and live.”