Teagasc is looking to appoint a ‘Better Tillage Farmer’ for the north east, on a farm in Meath, Dublin or Louth.

“We want to work with a specialist tillage operation, covering a minimal area of 300 acres,” said Teagasc crop specialist Michael Hennessy

“The growing of combinable crops must the core focus of the business.

“Preferably, the person appointed will be using precision technology on the farm, either a fertiliser sower or combine.

The business will join the two existing Better Farms in Carlow and Waterford. These will be used as research centres to help identify why there are such wide variations within a single crop in terms of nutrient uptake and the role of soil structure in this regard.

“My colleague Dermot Forristal is already working closely with his research team on the Carlow and Waterford farms, so as to identify how best precision cropping technologies can help growers of combinable crops in Ireland.

“But we need to complement this work with similar information from a third tillage enterprise.”

Hennessy confirmed that while Better Farmers are not paid a fee, they do receive a client contract for free and will receive a huge amount of extra advisory support and on-farm trials.

“We feel that the extra support available is worth a huge amount to a developing business,” he said.

Turning to the current Focus Farms programmes, Hennessy confirmed that the farmers in question will be hosting an enhanced number of far walks this year.

“Teagasc advisors are also working closely with these producers to ensure that their enterprise performance figures are compiled on a much more integrated basis. In turn, this should provide more relevant and up-to-date information for the growers in attendance,” he said.

Farmers wishing to participate in the Better Farms programme can contact Michael Hennessy on 059 9183427.